The Commerce Department said new orders for non-military U.S. capital goods other than aircraft, which is a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 0.6% last month.
The market had forecast these so-called core capital goods orders falling 0.2%. The government downwardly revised its estimate for those orders in July to a 0.8% gain from the previously reported 1.5% increase.
Business spending has contracted since the fourth quarter of 2015, in part as companies slashed capital spending budgets in response to lower oil prices.
The slump in investment has worried policymakers because it could depress longer-term economic growth. Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's GDP measurement, fell 0.4% last month after being unchanged in July.
Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the has no "fixed timetable" for raising interest rates but she believes the economy is ready for a rate hike by the end of the year. Yellen said that while is not a threat at the moment, it is possible that the economy could begin to overheat with prices rising too quickly, forcing the Fed to accelerate the pace of rate hikes and raising the threat of a recession.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said the U.S. is moving "slowly but surely" towards its 2% target and a continued normalisation of could boost lagging business investment.
The Fed last week voted 7-3 to keep its key interest rate where it has been all year. But it did send a strong signal that it is prepared to raise rates before the end of the year and we expect a hike in December.
The EURUSD failed to sustain break below daily cloud last week, setting up a trap. A failure below the cloud has become increasingly significant as the cloud has subsequently thickened this week. The cloud, which currently spans 1.1171-1.1209, is a strong support now. We remain long.
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