U.S. durable goods edge higher, boosted by car demand


WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Orders for long-lasting U.S.manufactured goods edged higher in August and gave a signal thatthe factory sector gained a step midway through the thirdquarter.

Durable goods orders rose 0.1 percent during the month, theCommerce Department said on Wednesday.

The report showed that shipments of non-military capitalgoods other than aircraft grew 1.3 percent during the month,snapping two straight months of declines.

The reading for these so-called "core" shipments feedsdirectly into the government's estimates for total economicgrowth, and the increase supports the view that governmentausterity is taking only a modest bite from national output.

New orders for core durable goods, which are viewed as agauge of business spending plans, rose 1.5 percent in August. That was below economists' expectations and not enough to makeup for the 3.3 percent decline registered in July.

Demand for new cars drove the overall gain in new orders ofdurable goods, which include everything from toasters to tanks.Economists polled by Reuters had expected overall goods ordersto be flat.

Excluding transportation, new orders fell 0.1 percent.

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