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Byline: ANTONIO A. PRADO
Orders for durable goods surged a record 12.8% in October, the Commerce Department said. But don't assume the economy is nearly out of the woods yet.
At first glance, the record monthly gain suggests an economic rebound, especially after September's 9.2% plunge, says Brian Wesbury, chief economist at Chicago investment firm Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson Inc.
But "excluding defense, the rebound in new orders didn't offset the September drop," he said. "While a rebound from Sept. 11 is understandable, the trend that began in early 2000 is still down, and the economy remains weak."
New orders, excluding defense, …