Durable goods orders surged in June after orders for commercial aircraft and parts more than doubled from the month before.
Orders rose 6.5% to $245.6 billion from an adjusted $230.7 billion, according to a monthly report by the US Commerce Department.
Excluding transportation equipment, the category that includes aircraft, the increase would have only been 0.2%, the department said. Excluding defense, the increase would have been 6.7%.
Commercial aircraft orders soared 131% in June to $25.3 billion. The gain followed a 1.4% decline in May and a 12% decrease in April.
Commercial aircraft bolstered the entire transportation equipment category, which rose 19% to $91.6 billion.
Other segments in transportation didn’t fare nearly as well. Defense aircraft and parts slipped 0.3% to $3.5 billion. Motorized vehicle and parts slid 0.6% to $54.3 billion. That decline followed two monthly increases.
US light-vehicle sales fell 2.1% in the first half of 2017, according to Autodata Corp. Deliveries for the year are forecast to decline from a record of 17.55 million in 2016. Automakers are coping with plunging demand for cars while light truck sales continue to rise.
Among other categories, new orders for fabricated metal products rose 0.7% to $32.4 billion; orders for machinery increased 0.2% to $31.6 billion; and orders for primary metals gained 0.1% to $19.4 billion.