Washington • 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, a sign of investment that could fuel economic growth.
Factory orders rose 1.8 percent in November, the Commerce Department said Monday. That follows a 0.5 percent decrease in October.
Orders received by manufacturers totaled a seasonally adjusted $497.8 billion in November, the highest level on records dating to 1992. Orders have increased 2.5 percent over the past 12 months.
The improvements could signal accelerating growth in 2014. Americans are buying more cars and homes, increasing demand for steel, furniture and other goods. That has led factories to hire more workers, generating additional economic momentum.