Outlook brightens for US manufacturing industry

In Washington, orders for durable goods in the United States increased more than expected in February, signaling improvement in business investment in equipment. Despite the manufacturing sector facing challenges due to rising interest rates impacting demand for goods, there is optimism for growth with expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut rates this year.

The latest report from the Census Bureau showed a 1.4 percent increase in orders for durable goods last month, driven by transportation equipment and machinery. The data for January was revised downward to show a 6.9 percent drop in orders, instead of the 6.2 percent previously reported. Economists had anticipated a 1.1 percent rise in durable goods orders, indicating better than expected performance in February. Additionally, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a key measure of corporate spending plans, saw a 0.7 percent increase after a 0.4 percent decline in the previous month.

Meanwhile, US consumer confidence remained stable in March, with concerns about a recession overshadowed by worries about the political environment leading up to the presidential election in November. The Conference Board reported that the consumer confidence index stayed nearly unchanged at 104.7 this month, slightly down from a revised figure of 104.8 in February

By Samantha Johnson

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