Durable goods orders rose in October, paced by an increase in orders for fabricated metal products, the U.S. Commerce Department said today.
Orders totaled $248.7 billion last month, an increase of 0.6 percent from September, according to a monthly report. It was the fourth increase in the past five months and follows a 1.4 percent September gain.
Fabricated metal products posted a monthly increase of 1.8 percent. Orders for the category totaled $34.1 billion in October, up from $33.5 billion the month before. It was the second increase in the last three months for the category.
Excluding transportation, orders increased by 0.6 percent. Excluding defense, orders rose 0.1 percent.
Transportation, formally a major part of the durable goods report, recorded mix results.
The overall transportation category had a 0.7 percent increase to $84.6 billion. However, one major transportation category, motor vehicles and parts, posted a 1.9 percent decline to $58.5 billion.
A 40-day strike at General Motors Co. extended into most of October. That walkout also caused layoffs at some GM suppliers.
Also within transportation, orders for commercial aircraft and parts rebounded in October. Orders totaled $8.1 billion, an 11 percent increase. That followed a 19 percent plunge in September and a fall of 17 percent in August.
Orders for defense aircraft and parts surged 18 percent to $7.3 billion.
In other categories, machinery posted a 1.3 percent increase to $33.1 billion. New orders for primary metals fell 1.4 percent to $20.2 billion.
The report is based on a survey of about 3,100 companies.