Durable goods orders increased 0.5% in February to $178.1 billion, the third consecutive monthly gain, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

Excluding transportation goods, durable goods rose 0.9% to $132.1 billion, the third increase in four months following a 0.6% decrease in January.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to increase by 0.6% in February and for orders excluding transportation goods to increase 0.5%, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

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