WASHINGTON – Demand for U.S. manufactured goods rose at the sharpest rate in three months in June as a solid rise in orders for long-lasting items joined with a small gain in demand for other goods, the government said on Monday.
Factory orders rose 1.7 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted $326.0 billion after an increase of just 0.3 percent a month earlier, the Commerce Department said. The gain was slightly above the 1.5 percent increase Wall Street economists had expected.
Orders for non-durable goods -- items expected to last less than three years -- gained 0.7 percent, while orders for expensive durable items like cars and refrigerators rose 2.6 percent, their biggest gain since July of last year.
The department had originally said durable goods orders rose 2.1 percent in June, boosted in part by big gains in demand for cars and aircraft.
The June increase in factory orders is among a number of recent signs showing activity stirring in the long-suffering manufacturing sector.