July Durable Goods Orders Come in Better Than Expected

New orders for manufactured durable goods in July increased $7.7 billion or 4.0 percent to $201.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

The report showed a return from weakness mainly in automobiles and aircraft manufacturing. And some renewed weakness in the defense sector.

Excluding transportation, new orders increased just 0.7 percent. Cars and auto parts grew a much more than expected 11.7% over June probably illustrating a recovery from the impacts of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Commercial aircraft and parts also contributed to the positive report with a 7.9% month-over-month increase in shipments and a surprising increase of 43.4% in new orders.

The negative side of the report focused on defense spending. Military aircraft and parts shipments dropped 9.7% and new orders were 6.1%. In June the same sector had seen new orders drop more than 20%.