New orders for manufactured goods — both durable and non-durable — increased 1.8 percent in December to $484.8 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. December’s official manufacturing report came in below expectations for 2.4 percent growth in new orders, but is still a positive indicator following November’s 0.3 percent decrease.
The increase in new orders was led by an 11.7 percent pop in orders for transportation equipment. This surge followed two consecutive months of declines, which is indicative of the seasonal nature of sales of transportation goods. Because of this seasonality, transportation goods are often factored out of new orders results. December’s reading without transportation goods shows just 0.2 percent growth.