New US data shows manufacturing growth

New US data has shown growth in factory orders and purchases of big-ticket durable goods in May, boosting hopes of an end to the soft patch in the US recovery seen in recent months.

Durable goods orders were revised up to show a 2.1 per cent increase in May, from a previously-calculated 1.9 per cent increase.

Excluding purchases of cars, orders were up 0.7 per cent, rather than the 0.6 per cent seen previously.

The US Commerce Department also said orders of manufactured goods rebounded by 0.8 per cent in May, from a drop of 0.9 per cent in April, showing a heartening growth in the essential sector.

The growth was below economists’ expectations for a one per cent growth in orders in May.

But the May data suggested an easing in supply chain disruptions after the March earthquake in Japan, which had hampered factory activity.

Unfilled orders at US factories rose 0.9 per cent in May, the biggest increase since September, after a 0.6 per cent gain in April. Shipments edged up 0.1 per cent after falling 0.4 per cent in April.

Inventories at US factories increased 0.8 per cent in May to $593bn (£369bn), the highest level since the series started in 1992.