Companies placed slightly more orders in August for US long-lasting manufactured goods, stepping up demand for cars, trucks and machinery. Even with the gain, business spending on factory goods may not be strong enough to accelerate economic growth in the July-September quarter.
Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, increased 0.1 percent in August, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That comes after orders plummeted 8.1 percent in July, which was largely because of a steep drop in volatile commercial aircraft orders.
The August orders were held back by a decline in demand for defense aircraft and other military goods. That could be related to steep government spending cuts that took effect in March. Excluding defense spending, orders rose 0.5 percent. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.