New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly rose in March, but the gains are not likely to be sustainable amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has abruptly shut down the economy and contributed to a collapse in crude oil prices.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, edged up 0.1% last month, the Commerce Department said. Data for February was up to show these so-called core capital goods orders falling 0.8% instead of dropping 0.9% as previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders plunging 6.0% in March.
Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama