WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories orders climbed in November, led by a surge in aircraft demand. And businesses stepped up spending on machinery, computers and other long-lasting goods that signal investment.
The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8 percent in November. That follows a 0.5 percent decrease in October. The index now stands at its highest level on records dating back to 1992.
A 21.8 percent jump in volatile aircraft orders drove the gains. But orders rose in many other categories, a sign of continued strength at factories and growing confidence among companies.
Core capital goods, which are a proxy for business investment, increased 1 percent. Economists watch this category closely because it excludes volatile orders for aircraft and defense equipment.
Demand increased for construction machinery, computers, furniture and motor vehicle parts.