Orders for durable goods rose 2.7% in March, sailing past expectations and the previous month’s revised decline of 1.1%, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

March’s orders were bolstered by a 7% jump in transportation equipment. Excluding transportation, new orders rose 0.4% last month. Econoday had predicted a 0.7% advance for new orders and a 0.2% gain excluding transportation.

“The guts of the data look pretty solid, though durables are notoriously noisy,” Action Economics said. “This is another solid report that adds to better outlook on the economy versus the doom/gloom from the turn of the year.”

Shipments of durable goods rose 0.3% last month, matching February’s print. Transportation equipment shipments reversed two-consecutive monthly decreases to advance 1.1% in March, the department said.

Durable-goods inventories rose 0.3% last month, below February’s 0.4% increase. Machinery led March’s increase, rising 1%.

Non-defense new orders for capital goods rose 6.5% in March, while shipments were unchanged from the month before. Inventories of capital goods rose 0.7%. Defense orders rose 7.4% while shipments rose 1%. Inventories rose 0.8%, the Commerce Department said.

“The data continue to show slowing in the past year, but trends have remained positive,” High Frequency Economics said. “The shipments and inventory data looked fairly neutral relative to what we assumed for the Q1 GDP report this week.”

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