) -- Demand for durable goods, or those long-lasting, factory-made items, rose by a better-than-expected amount in April, according to the government Wednesday, due largely to a pickup in commercial plane bookings.
New orders for durable goods jumped up by a seasonally adjusted 2.9% last month, or by $5.6 billion, to reach $193.9 billion, the Commerce Department said. Wall Street had anticipated a milder 1.5% rise, according to consensus projections provided by
New orders were unchanged in March and eked out a 0.5% gain in February.
But after culling out more volatile transportation orders, the durable goods orders reading in April reflected a 1% decline, which fell short of expectations by analysts looking for a 0.7% rise.
Transportation orders, in particular, soared 16.1% last month, propelled by a whopping 228% surge in commercial planes and parts orders.
The government also said shipments advanced by 1.4% in April, which got the most help from an 8.1% jump in shipments for computer and electronic goods, while inventories increased by 0.7%.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York