US factory orders rebounded in March after seven straight months of declines, pushed higher by commercial and defense aircraft orders, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
New orders for manufactured goods leaped 2.1 percent in March to $476.5 billion, after a 0.1 percent decline in February. The February number previously was estimated as a 0.2 percent increase.
Compared with a year ago, factory orders were down 4.8 percent in March.
Stripping out transportation, which can be volatile month-over-month, factory orders were flat in March compared to february.
Transportation equipment orders surged 13.5 percent, led by a 103.0 percent jump in defense aircraft and a 30.6 percent increase in commercial aircraft.
Orders for durable goods, typically goods that last more than three years and which represent about half of all factory orders, rose 4.4 percent to $241.2 billion. In February they had fallen 1.4 percent.
Nondurable goods, such as food and textiles, slipped 0.3 percent to $235.3 billion.
Manufacturing has been struggling, with exports hit by the strong dollar and US consumer spending tepid.