Durable goods orders increased 3.7% in September, the Commerce Department said Oct. 25.
The gain followed a revised 0.2% gain in August that was larger than originally reported.
Orders excluding transportation equipment, which is often volatile, fell 0.1% following a 0.4% drop in August.
“Investment spending has been really soft this year,” Joshua Dennerlein, an economist at Bank of America Corp. told Bloomberg News. “You’d expect to see rip-roaring investment because the groundwork is there, but you keep getting these uncertainty shocks, these policy shocks. People are going to hold off on investment because they’re not really sure.”
Demand for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for future business investment in computers and electronics, declined following a 0.4% decrease.
Faster growth in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12% of the economy, depends on how quickly confidence is restored in the aftermath of a budget battle that partially shut down the federal government, Bloomberg reported.