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New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 1.7 percent to $235.4 billion in February, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This increase, up two consecutive months, followed a 2.3 percent January increase.

Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.1 percent. Transportation equipment, also up two consecutive months, led the increase, 4.3 percent to $80.4 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods, up three of the last four months, increased 0.2 percent to $385.1 billion. Transportation equipment, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, growing 0.1 percent to $122.9 billion.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 0.3 percent to $239.2 billion. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods was virtually unchanged at $1,114.7 billion.

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