Ahead of the Bell: US durable goods

US durable goods orders expected to rise in November

Associated Press
US orders for durable goods fall 0.7 percent in November
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In this Nov. 11, 2014 photo, workers inspect a 2015 Ford F-150 at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. The Commerce Department reports on orders for durable goods in November on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Commerce Department releases its November report on durable goods. The report will be issued Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

SLIGHT INCREASE: Economists expect that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 3 percent in November, according to a survey by the data firm FactSet. That would build on momentum from a revised gain of 0.3 percent in October after declines in the two prior months.

BUSY FACTORIES: Strong auto sales have corresponded with increased manufacturing activity this year. Economists believe the underlying demand for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, will remain strong, reflecting in part the projected investment plans of businesses to buy new equipment to expand and modernize their operations.

The Federal Reserve said earlier this month that factory production rose 1.1 percent in November, up from a 0.4 percent improvement in October. Manufacturing output has risen 4.8 percent over the past 12 months. It's now above the previous high set just before the start of the Great Recession in December 2007

The index tracked by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, also points to continued expansion. Its manufacturing index fell to 58.7 last month from 59 in October. But any reading above 50 signals growth. October's figure matched a three-year high reached in August.

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