WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — U.S. factory orders rose 2.4 percent in July, far higher than economists expected, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.
Economists had expected factory orders to rise 1.5 percent.
Orders have risen for two of the past three months. In July, orders jumped by $10.5 billion to $453.2 billion.
Excluding transportation items, orders rose 0.9 percent.
Orders in transportation items — the category that includes planes, trains, ships and trucks — had the largest increase, rising by 14.8 percent or $6.8 billion to $53.2 billion due to a large upswing in private airplane orders.
Orders for non-durable goods also rose, climbing 1 percent or $2.5 billion to $251.2 billion.
Inventories of durable goods, up 19 consecutive months, rose by $3.1 billion or 0.9 percent to $361.4 billion.
Inventories of non-durable goods fell by $200 million or 0.1 percent to $236.7 billion, the bureau said.