WASHINGTON — New orders for manufactured goods were up $8.2 billion, or 1.8%, to $459.2 billion in November, the biggest percentage change since July when they gained 2.1%, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
The November gain followed two monthly revised decreases of 0.2% in October and 0.1% in September, and was lower than the median 1.6% increase estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
Shipments fell $0.7 billion, or 0.3%, to $202.9 billion in November, following a revised 1.5% increase the previous month.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods, which were up 19 of the last 20 months, rose $11.1 billion, or 1.3%, to $898.3 billion, following a revised 0.4% gain in October.
Inventories, which have been up 23 consecutive months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.6% to $369.0 billion in November, after rising 0.4% the previous month.