US factory orders rose in June as demand for aircraft soared

The Commerce Departments reports that factory orders increased 3 percent in June, a solid rebound after declining in May and April. But the gains largely came from a massive 131 percent jump in orders for civilian aircraft, a category that can be volatile on a monthly basis.

WASHINGTON | Orders at U.S. factories increased in June as demand surged for aircraft.

The Commerce Departments reports that factory orders increased 3 percent in June, a solid rebound after declining in May and April. But the gains largely came from a massive 131 percent jump in orders for civilian aircraft, a category that can be volatile on a monthly basis.

Susan Stacy

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, file photo, Susan Stacy moves a tube to sort recycled plastic bottle chips being processed at the Repreve Bottle Processing Center, part of the Unifi textile company in Yadkinville, N.C. On Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. factory orders for June. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Excluding the transportation sector that includes aircraft, factory orders slipped 0.2 percent in June.

Demand fell for computers and electronic products, while primary metals, machinery and motor vehicles eked out gains.

U.S. manufacturing has been recovering from a slowdown in late 2015 caused by lower energy prices and a strong dollar that made American products more expensive overseas.