By John McCormick

Orders for appliances, computers, cars and other durable goods increased in August, though factory operators continued to confront parts and labor shortages as well as higher material costs.

New orders for products meant to last at least three years increased 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted $263.5 billion in August as compared with July, the Commerce Department said Monday, marking the biggest increase since May. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.6% increase.

Orders increased 0.5% in July from the prior month, up from an earlier estimate for that month that had shown a 0.1% decline. Demand for durable goods has increased in 15 of the last 16 months after an April 2020 low point.

Deplenished business and retail inventories have translated to increased demand for manufacturers, but supply-chain bottlenecks continue to constrain production and delay some shipments. The Delta variant of Covid-19, which started its surge earlier during the summer, presents another threat.

New orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft--so-called core capital-goods, a closely watched proxy for business investment-- were up 0.5% in August compared with the previous month.

Write to John McCormick at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 27, 2021 09:08 ET (13:08 GMT)

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