U.S. Orders for Durable Goods Increased 0.6% in December, 10.9% for all of 2004


U.S. orders for durable goods rose for a second month in December, led by demand for machinery, computers and other business equipment, a government report showed.

Companies ordered 10.9 percent more durable goods in 2004, the most in a decade and three times as much as the prior year. Spending by businesses to replace older equipment and meet demand is helping boost factory demand, economists said. Such investment will help power the economy and lead to “healthy” job growth, Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said in a speech this week.

The rise in orders last year was the most since an 11.8 percent increase in 1994.

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