Investing.com -Orders for durable goods, which are meant to last at least three years or more, rose more than expected in December, according to data released on Thursday.
Durable-goods orders increased 1.2% last month, the Commerce Department said. Economists had forecast a 0.8% rise.
That was due largely to a strong performance from the transportation sector, which is known for its volatility due to the 'lumpiness' of big-ticket items such as aircraft. Transportation equipment orders, which have risen in four of the last five months rose 3.3 percent to $90.2 billion, the Census Bureau said.
Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders only inched up 0.1%, missing expectations for a gain of 0.2%.
The numbers were delayed due to the government shutdown at the end of 2018.
A key measure of business investment, meanwhile, fell in December. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely-watched proxy for business spending plans, declined by 0.7% from a month earlier.