Durable goods orders rose in November, paced by motor vehicles and parts, the U.S. Commerce Department said.
Orders rose 0.9 percent to $244.2 billion, according to a report issued last month. It was the seventh consecutive monthly gain and followed a 1.8 percent rise in October.
Leading the way was the motor vehicle and parts category. Orders increased 2.4 percent to $62.1 billion.
The North American auto industry bounced back quicker from the COVID-19 pandemic compared with other industries. Demand for pickups and SUVs have remained relatively strong.
The overall transportation equipment category rose 1.9 percent to $78.8 billion. That included a 16 percent increase for defense aircraft and parts to $3.3 billion. But orders for commercial aircraft fell 2.8 percent to $2.3 billion.
Aerospace continues to struggle because of lessened demand for air travel due to the pandemic. In 2020, airlines canceled orders for planes. Boeing Co. has said it will cut jobs this year because of industry conditions.
Excluding transportation, new orders for durable goods gained 0.4 percent. Excluding defense, orders increased 0.7 percent.
In other categories, orders for machinery rose 0.9 percent to $32.2 billion. Orders for primary metals gained 0.4 percent to $19.7 billion. Orders for fabricated metal products slid 0.8 percent to $31.8 billion.
The report is based on a survey of about 3,100 companies.