In another sign that consumer wallets are continuing to open, they were more willing to buy big-ticket items such as cars, appliances and office equipment last month, the Commerce Department reported today.
Orders for manufactured durable goods increased 2.9% to $193.9 billion in April, it was the fourth increase in the past five months.
Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 1% and excluding defense, new orders were up by 3.4$%.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 1.4% to $196 million. It was the second consecutive monthly increase.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods, which have been up for four consecutive months, increased $1.9 billion to $301.4 billion.