WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose for the 12th time in the last 13 months in May, pulled up by surgin demand for civilian aircraft.
The Commerce Department said today that orders for durable goods — meant to last at least three years — climbed 2.3% in May, reversing a 0.8% drop in April and coming despite a backlogged supply chain and a shortage of workers. Orders for aircraft shot up 27.4% last month after climbing 31.5% in April. Excluding transportation orders — which can bounce wildly from month to month — durable goods orders rose 0.3% last month, down from a 1.7% gain in April.
A category that tracks business investment — orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft — dipped 0.1% in May after rising 2.7% in April.
American industry is thriving despite problems with backlogged supply chains and a shortage of workers. The Federal Reserve reported earlier this month that factory production climbed 0.9% on surging output of cars, trucks and auto parts. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said that its manufacturing index signalled that factories were growing in May for the 12th straight month.