ORDERS UP: Business increased their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and steel in March, pushing durable goods orders up 2.5 percent.
CAPITAL SPENDING: A key category considered a proxy for business investment rose 3.7 percent in March, rebounding after a slight gain in February and a big decline in January.
OUTLOOK: Manufacturing remains one of the strongest sectors of the economy. Factories have benefited from strong demand for exports and greater spending by businesses on capital goods. Economists expect those trends will continue throughout the year.