|Orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods rose unexpectedly in February after six straight months of decline, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
The 3.4 percent increase in orders for durable goods, big-ticket items expected to last at least three years, was much better than the 2 percent decrease that had been expected.
For February, demand for transportation equipment, which accounts for more than one quarter of total durable goods orders, fell by 0.8 percent.
Excluding volatile transportation demand, orders for durable goods would have increased 3.9 percent last month.
U.S. President Barack Obama assured Americans on Tuesday that there were "signs of progress" toward recovery, while pleaded for more time and patience.
"We will recover from this recession," Obama said at a prime-time news conference, the second he has held since taking office in January. "But it will take time, it will take patience."