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Boeing boosts durable-goods orders, but shortages still a drag on U.S. economy

The numbers: Orders for durable goods surged in August largely because of more demand for Boeing jetliners, but ongoing supply shortages held back automakers and and remained a drag on the U.S. economic recovery.

Orders for durable goods leaped 1.8% last month, the government said Monday. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.6%.

The government also revised its July report to show a sizable increase instead of a decline.

The increase in business orders was somewhat exaggerated last month, however. Bookings rose a scant 0.2% if transportation is excluded. The numbers are seasonally adjusted.

Read: Delta deals blow to economy in August, but businesses remain upbeat

Big picture: The manufacturing side of the economy is not as big as it once was, but it still plays a big role in how fast the U.S. expands and is an important bellwether. The good news is that manufacturers still have plenty of demand, a sign of a healthy economy.

The biggest problem of manufacturers is getting critical supplies and finding enough workers to staff their plants. Material and labor shortages are likely to persist at least until the end of the year and restrain an otherwise rapid U.S. recovery.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average

was set to to open higher, but the S&P 500

appeared on track to decline in early Monday trades.

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