Here’s some cheery news for your Friday afternoon. Manufacturing has, to quote the New York Times headline, turned a corner. That is to say, new orders for long lasting goods made in the US increased sharply in January. The commerce department reported that items for “durable goods,” which can mean anything from airplanes to kitchen appliances as long as they’re meant to last at least three years, rose 4.9% last month, more than negating December’s 4.6% plunge. The January increase was also the largest in nearly a year, since last March to be exact. Nonmilitary capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a grouping that acts as a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, jumped 3.9% after falling 3.7% in December. While the manufacturing industry still faces significant challenges, the strong durable goods report at least suggests that the worst of the manufacturing downturn is over.