The U.S. Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8 percent in December compared to November, when orders had fallen 0.3 percent.
Demand for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment plans, dipped 0.3 percent in December following strong gains of 3.3 percent in November and 3 percent in October.
Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 4.3 percent, slightly below the 4.6 percent estimated in a preliminary report. The increase reflected strong gains for military and civilian aircraft. Orders for non-durable goods such as petroleum products, chemicals and paper, declined 0.3 in December after a 1 percent drop in November.