Orders for long-lasting factory goods increased for the fourth consecutive month in August, a sign of the manufacturing industry’s continued recovery from coronavirus pandemic-related disruptions.
New orders for durable goods—products designed to last at least three years—rose 0.4% in August compared with July, the Commerce Department said Friday. The August increase followed bigger advances from earlier in the summer, when orders rebounded following a collapse in demand from early in the pandemic.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 1.8% increase.
New orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business investment, also rose last month, by 1.8%.
Excluding defense, orders were up 0.7% in August. Meanwhile, orders for computers and electronic products, machinery and transportation equipment all rose solidly in August, helping drive the overall gain in orders.
The pace of durable goods orders can signal demand for manufactured products and the volume of forthcoming factory production. Orders jumped 11.7% in July, following steep declines in March and April.
Recent indicators have suggested the manufacturing industry is bouncing back from those disruptions. Surveys from data providers IHS Markit and the Institute for Supply Management, for example, showed factory activity grew in August, with gains in output and improvements in employment levels. A preliminary measure of manufacturing activity in September also accelerated, according to IHS Markit.
Write to Amara Omeokwe at [email protected]
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