WASHINGTON -- U.S. factory orders rebounded in March after seven straight months of declines, pushed higher by commercial and defense aircraft orders, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
New orders for manufactured goods leaped 2.1% in March to $476.5 billion, after a 0.1% decline in February. The February number previously was estimated as a 0.2% increase.
Compared with a year ago, factory orders were down 4.8% in March.
Stripping out transportation, which can be volatile month-over-month, factory orders were flat in March compared to February.
Transportation equipment orders surged 13.5%, led by a 103.0% jump in defense aircraft and a 30.6% increase in commercial aircraft.
Orders for durable goods, typically goods that last more than three years and which represent about half of all factory orders, rose 4.4% to $241.2 billion. In February they had fallen 1.4%.
Nondurable goods, such as food and textiles, slipped 0.3% to $235.3 billion.
Manufacturing has been struggling, with exports hit by the strong dollar and U.S. consumer spending tepid.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015