You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Factory orders rebound 1.3% in Feb.

WASHINGTON - Businesses ordered more machinery and equipment from US factories in February, a signal that many are investing in their companies despite the expiration of a tax credit.

Orders to US factories increased 1.3 percent in February, the Commerce Department said. That offset a similar decline in January.

Continue reading below

Demand for so-called core capital goods, a gauge of business investment plans, rose 1.7 percent. That was better than the government’s preliminary estimate last week and followed a steep drop in January.

US factory orders have been steadily rising since the recession ended nearly three years ago. Orders totaled $468.4 billion in February, just 3.4 percent below the previous peak hit in 2008.

Last year, businesses could reduce their taxable profits by an amount equal to the cost of a major investment. The credit spurred a jump in orders for industrial machinery, computers, and other capital goods at the end of last year. Spending on core capital goods surged 3.5 percent in December, then fell by nearly as much in January after the tax credit expired.

In February, orders for durable goods rose 2.4 percent. That was higher than the estimate the government made in last week’s preliminary report.

Transportation orders rose a solid 3.9 percent in February. Demand in the volatile commercial aircraft category increased 6 percent. Orders for cars and auto parts edged up 0.2 percent.

Orders for nondurable goods, such as paper and food, rose 0.4 percent in February.

A vibrant manufacturing sector has helped drive the best job growth in two years. The economy added an average of 245,000 jobs per month from December through February. Manufacturers have added more than 100,000 jobs in the past three months.

The Labor Department will release the March jobs report on Friday. Economists forecast employers added 210,000 jobs and the unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.