US durable goods up 2.6%


By Martin Crutsinger ,AP

WASHINGTON–Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods posted a solid gain for the second straight month in March. A key category that signals business investment plans increased at the fastest pace in four months.

Orders for durable goods increased 2.6 percent in March following a 2.1-percent rise in February, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Demand for core capital goods, considered a good guide for business investment plans, rose 2.2 percent in March.