WASHINGTON DC: December proved to be a better month for US manufacturing and housing, according to new data from the Commerce Department. Orders for durable goods rose 3.1% from a month earlier. New-home sales also recovered, rising 4.8% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.12 million units.

Some economists, however, have warned one month's figures are not indicative of a longer-term recovery in these sectors.

Comments Joshua Shapiro, chief US economist at consultancy MFR: "It was a very solid report, but it's kind of inconclusive about where we're headed."

While Ian McCarthy, ceo of Atlanta-based Beazer Homes adds "We have yet to see any meaningful evidence of a sustainable recovery in the housing market." The company reported a loss in its fiscal first quarter ended December 31.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff