WASHINGTON — Orders for manufactured goods rose a surprisingly strong 1.1% in October, while worker productivity in the July-September quarter rose a sharp 3.6%, the government reported today.
The Commerce Department said total orders for durable and non-durable goods climbed to $208.9 billion, up $2.2 billion from the September level as demand for manufactured goods appeared to suffer no initial adverse effect from the Oct. 19 collapse of the stock market.
The 1.1% increase followed a 1.8% advance in September.
Much of the strength in October came from a 7.5% rise in orders for transportation equipment, the first increase in this key sector since May and the biggest advance since a 10.8% March increase.
Excluding orders for defense goods, which vary widely from month-to-month, new factory orders rose by 0.7% in the month, the department said.