After a recent rough patch, another solid month for durable goods may put manufacturing on the move once again. New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 3.6% to $231 billion for May, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.
After bumping up a revised 3.6% in April, May's new orders exceeded analyst expectations by 0.3 percentage points.
Although durable goods are on the rise, transportation accounted for most of May's gain. Up three of the last four months, new orders for transportation goods jumped 10.2%. Excluding this sector from overall movements, new orders for durable goods increased 0.7%. This, too, beat analyst expectations of a slight 0.1% slump.
Shipments of goods managed a slight 1.2% increase, also pushed primarily by a 3.6% rise in transportation equipment. Unfilled orders edged up 0.8% on similar gains from transportation, while inventories expanded 0.1% on a 0.8% increase in computer and electronic products supplies. On the heels of a 0.3% increase, inventories (once again) set a new record since data was first recorded in 1992.