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Boeing logs record deliveries for 2017, upbeat on 2018

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New York (AFP)

Boeing reported record commercial plane deliveries for 2017 on Tuesday and said cargo and customer passenger trends continued to look strong for 2018.

The gains were fueled by global economic growth of three percent and an increase in overall passenger traffic that has outpaced historical trends, said Boeing vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth.

"It is a very, very strong marketplace," Tinseth said on a conference call with reporters. "We continue to see upward pressure as we look into the future."

Boeing shares jumped 2.7 percent to $318.36 and was the biggest gainer in the Dow in midday trading.

Boeing delivered 763 commercial planes last year, up from the 748 in 2016 and in line with its forecasted amount. Last year's deliveries also topped the prior record of 762 set in 2015.

A blog post by Tinseth highlighted that Boeing deliveries will top those of rival Airbus for the sixth straight year. Airbus is scheduled to report its annual deliveries on January 15.

Boeing's deliveries were again led by its most popular plane, the single-aisle 737, which comprised nearly 70 percent of the total deliveries. It was followed by the 787, which accounted for 136 deliveries.

Boeing has lifted the production rates for both of these planes to meet rising demand. The company remains on track to lift output on the 747 from 47 per month to 52 per month later this year to 57 per month in 2019, Tinseth said.

Tinseth said the strong overall market was due in part to improved airline industry profits, with the earnings over the last three years besting the cumulative earnings from the prior 30 years.

Boeing reported 912 new commercial orders in 2017, up 36.5 percent from the 2016 level and reflecting a total value of $134.8 billion based on listed prices.

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