After falling 1.4 percent in February, new orders for durable manufactured goods increased by 4.0 percent in March, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the second increase over the past three months. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.2 percent. Excluding defense spending, orders increased 2.6 percent.
Transportation orders rose by 13.5 percent after a February decline of 1.8 percent. Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 1.1% after falling for the past two months. Inventories of manufactured durable goods increased 0.1% to the highest level since the index was first published in 1992. Computers and electronic products drove the increase in inventories, rising 0.7 percent from February.
Defense new orders for capital goods increased 17.0 percent in March . New orders for defense aircraft and parts increased 113 percent; non-defense aircraft orders also experienced large gains, increasing 30.6 percent in March after declining slightly in February.