The Conference Board said the cutoff day for responses to be included in the report was June 13. Since then equities have declined, with the S&P 500 dropping 2.5% on June 20, the biggest one-day selloff since November 2011.
Growing demand for cars and trucks and gains in homebuilding are helping counter weakness in export markets, benefiting manufacturers such as BorgWarner Inc. and United Technologies Corp. Businesses may also decide to replace aging equipment, which will help bolster expansion in the second half of 2013.
Orders for durable goods, those meant to last at least three years, climbed a larger-than-projected 3.6% for a second month reflecting broad-based gains, according to figures from the Commerce Department.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for future business investment in computers, electronics and other equipment, climbed 1.1% in May after rising 1.2% and 1.1% in each of the prior two months.
Shipments of those products, a measure used in calculating gross domestic product, rose 1.7%, the biggest gain since November.
“This is the missing piece for an upswing in economic activity,” said Millan Mulraine, director of U.S. rates research at TD Securities USA LLC in New York. “Business capital investment activity is off to a strong showing. If businesses start investing, they’ll add to their workforce.”
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week that the central bank may begin to pare its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases this year if the economy performs as policy makers forecast. The process could be completed by mid-2014, by which time the jobless rate will probably have dropped to around 7%, he said.
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