WASHINGTON — New orders for manufactured durable goods increased $300 million to $215.5 billion in April, a 0.2% rise,the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The increase in orders came after a revised 3.7% decrease in March, originally reported as a 4.2% decline. Excluding transportation, new orders fell 0.6%, and excluding military orders they advanced 1.2%. Excluding aircraft, new orders slid 1.9%. Economists predicted a 0.5% increase in orders and a 1.0% rise, excluding transportation.

Durable goods shipments rose $1.5 billion or 0.7% to $222.7 billion in April, following an unrevised 1.0% climb in March.

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