New orders for durable goods increased in November, paced by transportation equipment, the Commerce Department said.Orders rose 2.5 percent to $268.3 billion, according to a report on Dec. 23. Transportation led the way with a 6.5 percent monthly gain to $82.1 billion. Durable goods orders have risen six of the past seven months.
Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose 0.8 percent. Excluding defense, the gain was 2 percent.
The increase for transportation followed two monthly declines. Within transportation, orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 1 percent to $53.8 billion. Orders for commercial aircraft and parts soared 34 percent to $13.3 billion. Orders for defense aircraft and parts gained 3 percent to $5.1 billion.
The transportation category often has a major impact on the overall durable goods figures. The auto industry continues to see strong demand for pickups and SUVs. However, a global shortage of semiconductors has disrupted production. The commercial aircraft industry is recovering from COVID-19, which reduced demand for air travel in 2020.
Among other categories, orders for fabricated metal products gained 0.6 percent to $36.7 billion. Orders for primary metals rose 0.3 percent to $24.5 billion. Orders for machinery slid 1 percent to $38.2 billion.
The report is based on a survey of 3,100 companies.
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