Economists Estimate Durable Goods Orders Increase in February

A report showed that economists predict orders of durable goods in the United States increased in February by the most in five months. The average forecast for orders for goods that are meant to last at least three years is a 3.9 percent increase. It comes after the drop of 4.9 percent in January. Durable Goods

The advances in home and auto purchases are seen as an advantage to manufacturers such as 3M and United Technologies. It resulted to increases in output. Business investment in new equipment picked up as companies ignore the budget battles in Washington and focus instead on increasing their capacity as demand goes up.

The Commerce Department is set to release the durable goods numbers this week. Estimates made by economists surveyed by Bloomberg ranged from a 0.1 percent fall to an advance of 6.5 percent. There are speculations that the S&P/Case-Schiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 7.9 percent in the past 12 months that ended January. This would be the largest year-over-year gain since June 2006.

Economists also predicted new homes sales to be at a 420,000 annual rate last month after a 437,000 rate in January. This would be the best back-to-back performance in four years. Americans’ sentiments dampened in March after it improved in the previous month by the most in a year. The average forecast in the Bloomberg poll showed consumer confidence index fell 67.5 in March from 69.6 in February.

Aircraft bookings helped improve the durable goods numbers last month. Boeing said it got orders for 179 aircrafts in February. This was up two in January. Demand for cars and trucks can also contribute to the gains. Vehicles sold at a 15.3 million annual rate in February after a 15.2 million rate the previous month.

There are speculations that he Commerce Department’s report will show orders excluding demand for transportation will increase 0.6 percent to get the sixth consecutive monthly increase. This is the longest streak since the eight month streak through March 2006.