U.S. Durable Goods Hike Doubles Expectations

New orders for American-made capital goods increased more than expected last month, and shipments rose for an eighth straight month, suggesting business spending on equipment south of the border remained robust in the third quarter.

Figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday revealed non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft -- a closely watched proxy for business spending plans-- rose 1.3% in September after an upwardly revised 1.3% increase in August.

Economists had forecast orders of these so-called core capital goods increasing 0.5% last month after a previously reported 1.1% jump in August. Core capital goods orders advanced 3.8% year-on-year.

Shipments of core capital goods climbed 0.7% after soaring 1.2% in August. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement.

The department said it was unable to isolate the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the data as the survey is -- quote --"designed to estimate the month-to-month change in manufacturing activity at the national level and not at specific geographic areas."