10/25/2013 08:35 EDT | Updated 12/25/2013 05:12 EST

Higher aircraft demand lifts orders for long-lasting US factory goods; business spending falls

WASHINGTON - A jump in demand for commercial airplanes boosted orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods last month. But orders for most other goods fell as businesses cut spending, a possible sign of concern about the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1.

The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 3.7 per cent in September, above the 0.2 per cent gain in August. But a 57.5 per cent jump in aircraft orders accounted for nearly all the gain. Durable goods are meant to last at least three years.

Orders for core capital goods, which include industrial machinery and electrical equipment, fell 1.1 per cent. August's 1.5 per cent gain was revised sharply lower to 0.4 per cent. Economists pay particular attention to core capital goods, which exclude aircraft, because they are a sign of business confidence.