Orders for major US-manufactured goods spiked in June to a three-year high as civilian aircraft orders more than doubled, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
The monthly gain in durable goods orders was more than enough to reverse the consecutive declines of the prior two months and was also more than twice the gain expected by analysts.
While the increase was driven by the highly volatile transportation sector, it was added to an upward revision in May.
The report could bode well for growth in the second quarter, with preliminary GDP estimates due to be published Friday.
Total orders for durable goods jumped 6.5 percent to $245.6 billion for June, the biggest one-month gain since July of 2014.
For the year to date, orders are up five percent over the same period in 2016.
Civilian aircraft, which see major swings from month to month, surged 131.2 percent in June.
But excluding the highly volatile transportation sector, orders rose only 0.2 percent, down from the 0.4 percent increase in May, and three-tenths below an analyst forecast for the segment.
The capital goods sector jumped 19 percent, another three-year high, but this was also driven entirely by aircraft.
Autos fell 0.6 percent, giving up some of May’s 1.6 percent gain. Computers and electronic parts also fell 0.3 percent.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft — a segment which has suffered in recent years as falling oil prices curtailed investment in drilling for crude — slipped 0.1 percent in June after the 0.7 percent gain in the prior month.
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