Factory orders for big-ticket manufactured declined in May as demand for commercial aircraft dropped off. But excluding transportation, orders rose as manufacturing continued to help drive the recovery.
Demand for durable goods fell 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It was the first decline in six months, following April's strong 3 percent increase.
But without the volatile transportation sector, orders climbed 0.9 percent. The increase was driven by a 5.6 percent uptick in orders for machinery. Non-transportation orders in April fell by 0.8 percent.
More companies are investing in costly machinery as the recovery gains strength. As manufacturing continues to surge, companies are growing more confident. They are adding jobs, revving up production and buying more equipment.
A durable good is a product expected to last at least three years.
The results were largely in line with analysts' expectations.
Spending by businesses was up 2.1 percent after falling 2.7 percent in April, another sign that recovery is taking root.
Analysts say orders for Boeing Co. fell in May after surging in April. That decline offset gains for machinery, raw metals and computers.
Communications equipment orders fell 9.4 percent. It was that sector's largest decline since December 2008, at the peak of the financial crisis.
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