Orders for durable goods rose in November on a surge in orders for commercial aircraft and parts.
Durable goods orders increased 1.3% to $241.4 billion last month from an adjusted $238.3 billion in October, the US Commerce Department said in a monthly report. It was the third increase in the past four months.
Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.1%, the department said. Transportation equipment orders rose 4.2% to $80.9 billion.
Commercial aircraft and parts, part of the transportation category, posted a 14.5% gain last month to $12.5 billion. Throughout 2017, commercial aircraft orders have been erratic. Some months, orders soared while they nosedived in other months.
For example, the November gain in commercial aircraft orders followed a 16% decline the month before and a 34% increase in September.
Other transportation categories also posted increases. Orders for defense aircraft and parts soared 12% to $3.7 billion. Orders for motorized vehicles and parts gained 1.4% to $56.2 billion. Demand for light trucks has remain strong, keeping vehicle sales near record levels.
In other categories, orders for primary metals rose 0.8% to $20.4 billion. Orders for machinery declined 1.1% to $32.6 billion. Orders for fabricated metal products fell 0.3% to $33.2 billion.