From the Census Bureau:
… New orders for manufactured durable goods in April increased $7.7 billion or 3.4 percent to $235.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up three of the last four months, followed a 1.9 percent March increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 3.7 percent.
… Shipments of manufactured durable goods in April, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1.5 billion or 0.6 percent to $232.5 billion. This followed a 0.8 percent March decrease.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods in April, down nine of the last ten months, decreased $0.7 billion or 0.2 percent to $384.4 billion.
Nondefense aircraft orders made up $6.64 billion of the $7.67 billion seasonally adjusted new orders increase from March to April.
Keep in mind here that even if the generally improved orders-increase percentages seen this month repeat themselves for the next several months (but see the update for an important exception), what we’ll be seeing, if we’re lucky, is a slow emergence from a fairly deep funk going back to late-2014.
Additionally, shipments are still relatively flat, and the March revisions to all shipments (durable and nondurable) reduced them by $1.2 billion, or 0.2 percent. Actual April shipments of durable goods came in 2.8 percent below April 2015, pushing year-to-date shipments 0.2 percent below last year.
UPDATE: Via AP —
Demand for durable goods jumped 3.4 percent after a 1.9 percent gain in March, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Orders in the closely watched category that serves as a proxy for business investment fell 0.8 percent after a 0.1 percent decline in March and a 2.1 percent plunge in February.
It’s the line item for “nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft.” Year-to-date, that category is down 4.1 percent.