By Timothy R. Homan - Mar 25, 2012 12:00 AM ET
Manufacturers in the U.S. probably received more orders for durable goods in February and consumer purchases climbed the most in five months, economists said reports this week will show.
Bookings for long-lasting factory goods rose 3 percent last month after decreasing 3.7 percent in January, according to the median estimate of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Personal spending increased 0.6 percent last month, boosted in part by stronger auto sales.
“It’s employment that’s really driving the bus for spending growth right now,” said Russell Price
, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit
. “As our economy expands, it’s going to allow manufacturing to build right along with it.”
Six months of the strongest job growth since 2006 is helping sustain incomes and spending, just as companies upgrade equipment, keeping the nation’s producers at the forefront of the almost three-year-old expansion. At the same time, higher transportation costs and slowdowns in Europe and China represent hurdles for manufacturing.
The Commerce Department’s report on March 28 is projected to show orders for goods meant to last at least three years climbed for the fourth time in five months, helped by a jump in demand for commercial aircraft. Boeing Co. received orders for 237 airplanes in February from 150 a month earlier, data from the Chicago-based company show.
Cont. here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-25/orders-probably-picked-up-with-spending-u-s-economy-preview.html