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US May Big-Ticket Goods Notably Jump

FILE: Tundra trucks and Sequoia SUV's exit the assembly line as finished products at Toyota's truck plant in San Antonio, Texas, on April 17, 2023.

WASHINGTON — Orders of big-ticket manufactured items continued to defy expectations to rise again in May, fueled by a sharp jump in orders for nondefense aircraft, according to U.S. government data released Tuesday.

U.S. manufactured durable goods orders rose by 1.7 percent in May from a month earlier to $288.2 billion, the Commerce Department announced in a statement.

The increase was well above the median expectation of a fall in orders in a MarketWatch survey of economists, and follows a monthly increase in April which also defied analysts' expectations.

The May increase was fueled by non-defense spending, with non-defense aircraft and parts orders growing by almost a third month-over-month.

New orders for non-defense capital goods and transportation equipment also saw substantial increases, while defense aircraft orders saw a steep decline month-over-month, following large gains in April.