New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 5.7% in February to $232.1 billion, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today. After falling a revised 3.8% in January, aircraft orders boosted durable goods past analysts' expectations of a 3.5% increase.


New orders for nondefense aircraft rocketed up a seasonally adjusted 95.3% for February, primarily because of a boost in Boeing (NYSE:BA) orders. The corporation's sales pushed the overall transportation sector to a seasonally adjusted 21.7% gain for February. Excluding transportation, new orders for durable goods fell 0.5% overall, undercutting market projections of a 0.7% bump.

Durable-goods shipments and unfilled orders both posted modest gains, while inventories continued to climb 0.4% to $376.9 billion. Inventories have increased 16 of the past 17 months, and these newest numbers (once again) hit a new all-time high since data was first recorded in 1992.

Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned and did not order a Boeing plane in February. You can follow him on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo.

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