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US durable goods orders show modest 0.2% December gain

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WASHINGTON – Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose a modest 0.2% in December, held back by a big drop in the volatile aircraft sector.

A key category that tracks business investment decisions slowed. The rise in orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, followed much stronger increases of 1.2% November and 1.8% in October, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Orders for commercial aircraft, hard hit because of the sharp drop in air travel during the pandemic fell 51.8% in December.

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