WASHINGTON - New orders for manufactured goods were up $6.0 billion or 1.3% to $468.4 billion in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The February increase followed a revised decline of 1.1% in January, originally reported as a 1.0% slide. The increase was smaller than the 1.5% gain estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

Excluding transportation, new orders rose 0.9%. Without defense, new orders increased 1.1%.

Shipments, up nine straight months, rose $300 million or 0.1% to $462.6 billion in February, following a revised 0.6% increase in January.

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods, up 22 of the last 23 months, climbed $12.1 billion or 1.3% to $931.1 billion, following a revised 0.7% gain in January.

Inventories, up 28 of the last 29 months, increased $2.2 billion or 0.4% to $616.8 billion in February, after rising 0.6% the previous month. The February inventory level is the highest since the data was first published on an NAICS basis in 1992.


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