Compiled from Bloomberg News stories
The dollar rose against the euro and the yen following reports that consumer confidence and durable orders increased. The Conference Board, a New York-based research group, said its consumer confidence index rose to 98.9 this month from 85.2, the most significant jump in more than two years. The Commerce Department reported a 3.4% increase in durable goods orders in October, double earlier forecasts. The orders were expected to rise 1.5%, according to a median estimate of 63 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Business spending to replace older machines and replenish dwindling inventories will fuel economic growth this quarter, economists said. For a fifth straight month, unfilled orders for this equipment rose in October.
In the transportation equipment industry, orders jumped 11.4%, the biggest rise since May. Bookings for commercial aircraft surged 50%. According to Chicago-based Boeing, the world's second-biggest maker of commercial aircraft, aircraft orders improved from 24 in September to 36 in October.
``The numbers are continuing to signal strength in manufacturing,'' said James O'Sullivan, a senior economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. ``Inventories are lean, and so if anything, that's going to add to growth for the next several months.''
Based on orders and inventory increases, economists at Morgan Stanley boosted their forecast for economic growth this quarter to a 3.8 percent annual rate from 3.1 percent.
In contrasting news, the Japanese government report on factory production suggested the economy isn't growing fast enough to justify higher interest rates. Industrial production in Japan rose 0.6 percent in October, compared with a 0.4 percent gain the previous month. Output was expected to increase 1.3 percent, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Against the euro, the dollar climbed to $1.1781 by 12:06 p.m. in New York, from $1.1850 late yesterday, according to electronic foreign-exchange dealing system EBS. The dollar advanced to 119.49 against the yen, from 118.84. The U.S. currency is headed for its biggest monthly advance in five against the euro and the largest gain in six months against Japan's currency.