Although the data are somewhat dated, U.S. Commerce Department numbers released August 3 show overall new orders for manufactured goods increased 1.2% in June to $406 billion, marking the fourth increase in factory orders in five months.
New orders for manufactured durables, generally such big-ticket items as airplanes, autos and appliances that are designed to last at least three years, increased 2.9% in June to $215.8 billion. That's slightly less than the 3.1% increase that the Commerce Department first estimated for June. Non-defense aircraft and parts, following two consecutive double-digit monthly declines, increased 6.8% in June to $11.2 billion. Defense aircraft and parts posted a 10.7% increase to $3.05 billion. Orders for ships and boats sped up 118.9% to $3.9 billion.
New orders for durables had gained three-tenths of a percent in May and fallen 4.7% in April.
New orders for non-durable manufactured goods fell seven-tenths of a percentage point in June to $190.2 billion. The drop in new orders in June followed increases of 1.1% and 1.9% in April and May, respectively.