Unsold 2007 Ram pickup trucks sit at a Dodge dealership in the southeast Denver suburb of Centennial, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007. Retail sales posted a stronger-than-expected gain and prices at the wholesale level jumped up significantly in September. The Commerce Department reported Friday, Oct. 12, 2007 that retail sales increased 0.6 percent last month, compared to August, as a big increase in auto sales helped offset weak demand for clothing. The increase was double the gain that economists had been expecting and was also in contrast to reports Thursday of sluggish demand from the nation's leading retail chains. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Government data show orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted an unexpectedly strong showing in September. A surge in demand for airplanes and autos pushed orders up by the largest amount in three months.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that orders for durable goods rose by 0.8 percent, surprising economists who had expected a decline. Orders had fallen by 5.5 percent in August, which was the biggest setback in nearly two years.
The September increase was the largest gain since a 1.4 percent rise in June, but all the strength came in the transportation sector. Demand for commercial aircraft, an extremely volatile category, shot up by 29.7 percent and orders for motor vehicles rose by 3 percent, the biggest gain in more than a year.