Washington — Business orders for U.S. factory goods shot up by a record amount in July, reflecting a surge in demand in the volatile category of commercial aircraft.
But outside of transportation, orders actually fell slightly during the month although the setback was expected to be temporary.
The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 10.5 percent in July, the biggest one-month increase on record going back to 1992 as orders for civilian jetliners rose four-fold. But excluding transportation, orders edged down 0.8 percent and a key category that serves as a proxy for business investment plans fell 0.7 percent.
Manufacturing has been a source of strength this year, helped by robust demand for new cars, other consumer items and business equipment. Economists expect that strength to continue.