Durable goods orders rose slightly in August because of a surge in orders for commercial aircraft and parts.
Orders increased 1.7% to $232.8 billion from an adjusted $228.9 billion the month before, the US Commerce Department said in a monthly report. It was the second increase in the past three months.
Leading the way was a 45% jump in commercial aircraft orders to $10.5 billion. The overall transportation equipment category rose 4.9% to $77.4 billion.
Excluding transportation, new orders rose 0.2%, the department said. Excluding defense, orders advanced 2.2%.
Ups and Downs
Commercial aircraft has experienced wild swings this summer. Orders more than doubled in June, then plunged 71% in July.
Transportation also was bolstered by a 1.5% increase in motorized vehicles and parts to $53.9 billion in August from $53.1 billion in July.
However, transportation was held back by new orders for military aircraft and parts. That category slid 24% in August from July to $4.1 billion.
In other categories, new orders for machinery gained 0.3% to $31.9 billion. Orders for primary metals increased 0.3% to $19.6 billion. New orders for fabricated metal products fell 0.4% to $32.5 billion.