U.S. factory orders increase 1.5% in June even as firms struggle with shortages

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U.S. factory orders rose 1.5% in June on stronger demand for airplanes, oil and other industrial goods, extending a recent hot streak in which demand has surged well above pre-pandemic levels.

Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 1% increase.

New orders have risen in 13 of the last 14 months, reflecting the resiliency of the U.S. economy in general and the manufacturing sector in particular during the pandemic.

Durable-goods orders rose 0.9%, the the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Initially the government put the increase at 0.8%.

The biggest increase in new bookings involved commercial planes. Boeing
BA,
-0.81%
is receiving new orders again as more people begin to fly.

Orders for nondurable goods — food, clothing, drugs and the like — advanced 2.1% in the month.

The fast-recovering U.S. economy has generated plenty of business for manufacturers — so much so that they can’t keep up because of shortages of labor and supplies.

These hurdles are expected to fade over time, but many companies have had to raise prices for customers or even curtail production.

Read: Broad shortages still plague manufacturers and stunt economic recovery

Orders for capital goods excluding aircraft and military items rose a revised 0.7% in June, up slightly from the prior 0.5% estimate.

These are known as core orders and they show a big surge in investment this year as businesses prepare for a post-pandemic world.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.10%
and S&P500
SPX,
-0.02%
fell in Tuesday trades, but both indexes remained near record highs.

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