Orders into U.S. factories picked up a bit in November, helped in large part by a surge in orders for military aircraft.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for manufactured goods rose by 0.9 percent in November, better than the 4.5 percent falloff in October but not quite as strong as economists had expected.
Shipments increased by 0.1 percent, and unfilled orders increased 1.7 percent to the highest level on record.
New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 1.6 percent, and new orders for manufactured nondurable goods increased slightly.
The government said orders for defense aircraft and parts surged nearly 44 percent, while non-defense aircraft and parts edged up 0.8 percent. Overall, transportation-related goods were up 8.2 percent.