New orders for manufactured durable goods increased by 4.6 percent in December to $230.7 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The December bump comes after the 0.7-percent increase measured in November; manufacturing has increased in seven of the past eight months.
Orders for transportation equipment soared by 11.9 percent to $75.9 billion, significant growth after two months of declines.
A $2.9 billion increase in shipments of manufactured durable goods last month continues an overall growth pattern that has seen shipments rise in five of the past six months. The largest commodity increase came in the form of primary metals, which rose by 4.2 percent to $30.7 billion.
In an interview about the trucking outlook for 2013, Dave Ross of Stifel Nicolaus tied the health of the sector to bumps in manufacturing, consumer spending and exports. He didn’t expect these increases to be major, but any growth helps the trucking industry move forward.
Bob Costello, chief economist of the American Trucking Associations, recently predicted economic growth for 2013, which would benefit the trucking industry.
“There is a robust recovery waiting under the surface,” he said. - Jon Ross