U.S. business spending on equipment ends first quarter on strong note



Lucia Mutikani | Reuters

New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods rose solidly in March and shipments surged, cementing expectations that economic growth accelerated in the first quarter as massive government aid and improving public health boosted demand.

The strength in business spending reported by the Commerce Department on Monday joined upbeat data on retail sales and the labor market in setting up the economy for what analysts expect will be its best performance this year in nearly four decades.

Economists saw little impact on investment from President Joe Biden’s push for a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax system to make rich people and big companies pay more and help foot the bill for the White House’s ambitious economic agenda, including upgrading the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

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