New orders for big-ticket US manufactured goods rose 4.2 percent in June, led by demand for aircraft, the government reported Thursday.
Orders for durable goods, long-lasting manufactured products, rose to $244.5 billion, an increase of $9.9 billion from May, the Commerce Department said.
Analysts had predicted a much smaller 1.8 percent increase on average.
The May reading was revised sharply higher to $234.6 billion from an initial estimate of $231.0 billion.
The June reading was the fourth increase in durable goods orders in the past five months.
But transportation equipment orders, a typically volatile item, drove the increase.
Civilian aircraft orders soared 31.4 percent and defense aircraft orders jumped 18.7 percent.
Orders were flat excluding transportation.
Excluding defense, orders rose 3.0 percent.
On a year-over-year basis, new orders were up 3.7 percent.