Military hardware and business equipment led the rise in demand for durable goods in the US during September, latest Commerce Department figures show.

Orders for goods intended to last for more than three years were up by 0.2% to $195.7 billion (€153.7bn, £106.8bn. The rise was the third in four months and may be a sign of optimism about the nation's economic future.

The sale of new houses also rose by 3.5% to a 1.2 million annual rate. The increase has been helped by mortgage interest rates below 6% since July.

Data sourced from Washington Post Online; additional content by WARC staff