Aircraft orders increase durable goods outlook, but spending soft

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A surge in demand for commercial aircraft lifted orders for big-ticket manufactured goods in September, but businesses spent less on computers and machinery.

The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 3.3 percent last month. Overall, it was the best showing since January. But excluding transportation, orders fell 0.8 percent after having risen 1.9 percent in August.

And spending by companies on capital goods dropped 0.6 percent after rising 4.8 percent in August. The category is viewed as a good proxy for business investment in the economy.