Allegheny technologies steel factoryWikimedia CommonsWhite-hot steel pours like water from a 35-ton electric furnace, Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp., Brackenridge, Pa.

The January durable goods orders report is out, and the numbers are better than expected.

Orders fell just 1.0%, which was more modest than the 1.7% decline expected..

Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft — an important measure of corporate spending — unexpectedly jumped 1.7%. Economists were looking for a 0.2% decline.

“[T]he three-month-on-three-month annualised growth rate improved to 6.6%, suggesting that equipment investment is now expanding at a solid pace,” noted Capital Economics’ Paul Ashworth. “Admittedly, actual shipments in the same category fell by 0.8% m/m, but the three-month-on-three-month growth rate nevertheless accelerated to 8.8%.”

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