WASHINGTON — New orders for manufactured goods rose 1.0% in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
The increase of $4.9 billion took new orders to $474.0 billion, following a 4.7% decrease the previous month, originally reported as a 4% drop.
The latest figure was weaker than the median 1.5% rise projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
The increase was led by new orders for transportation equipment, which was up 8.4%.
Excluding transportation, new orders fell 0.1%, after decreasing 2.8% the previous month. Excluding defense, they rose 0.5% in April after dropping 4.0% in March.
Total shipments in April, down two consecutive months, fell $3.5 billion or 0.7% to $478.7 billion after falling 1.5% in March. Shipments of manufactured decreased $1.0 billion or 0.4% to $227.4 billion.
Unfilled orders in April, up two of the last three months, rose $2.6 billion or 0.3% to $995.9 billion, following a 0.6% March decrease. .
Total inventories, up five consecutive months, were up $1.1 billion or 0.2% to $627.9 billion. This is at its highest since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992, and followed a slight increase in March.
Inventories of total durable goods increased $1.3 billion or 0.3% to $377.8 billion and was also the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis. It followed a 0.1% decrease in March.