US durable goods orders rise 2.3 per cent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to US factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose for the 12th time in the last 13 months in May, pulled up by surging demand for civilian aircraft.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for durable goods — meant to last at least three years — climbed 2.3 per cent in May, reversing a 0.8 per cent drop in April and coming despite a backlogged supply chain and a shortage of workers. Orders for aircraft shot up 27.4 per cent last month after climbing 31.5 per cent in April. Excluding transportation orders — which can bounce wildly from month to month — durable goods orders rose 0.3 per cent last month, down from a 1.7 per cent gain in April.

A category that tracks business investment — orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft — dipped 0.1 per cent in May after rising 2.7 per cent in April.

American industry is thriving despite problems with backlogged supply chains and a shortage of workers. The Federal Reserve reported earlier this month that factory production climbed 0.9 per cent on surging output of cars, trucks and auto parts. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said that its manufacturing index signalled that factories were growing in May for the 12th straight month.