A report form the commerce department out today indicates that the U.S. market for capital goods and machinery such as farm equipment rose 3.4 percent last month.
The rise in orders for big-ticket items was a surprise to economists who predicted more modest growth. Last months growth was the first increase after six straight monthly drops. In January, demand for durable goods fell by 7.3 percent, according to revised government figures.
Despite the positive trend, the largest Asian manufacturer of tractors and other farm equipment said it expects the U.S. agricultural equipment market will shrink this year by up to 15 percent, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The Japanese company said the tractor market in the U.S. may continue to slide due to the recession. The company also sees a 50 percent drop in demand for mini excavators.
Consumers in the U.S. have delayed buying tractors and commercial lawn mowers as they wait out the economic slump. The company said it plans to cut back on production and shift its focus to the Asian market, led primarily by China.