WASHINGTON — New orders for manufactured durable goods increased $4.5 billion or 2.2% to $211.8 billion in February, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
The rise in orders came after a revised 3.6% decrease in January, originally reported as a 4.0% drop. Excluding transportation, new orders climbed 1.6%; excluding military spending, they increased 1.7%.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had projected a median 3.0% increase in new orders for durable goods. They estimated durable goods excluding transportation would rise 1.7%.
Durable goods shipments, after being up two consecutive months, edged down $800 million or 0.4% to $206.6 billion in February, following a revised 0.1% increase in January, originally reported as a 0.4% gain.
Unfilled orders for durable goods, up 22 of the past 23 months, rose $11.5 billion or 1.3% to $930.3 billion, following a revised 0.7% gain in January. It was originally reported as a 0.5% increase. The February increase was the largest since December 2011, when unfilled orders were up 1.5%.