U.S. factory orders rose 0.4% in July, as manufacturers worked to pump out more goods to keep up with high demand.
Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.3% increase.
Yet orders for nondurable goods — food, clothing, drugs and the like — jumped 0.9% in the month.
Orders for capital goods excluding aircraft and military items rose a revised 0.1% in July. Economists view it as a good proxy for business investment.
Previously the government had said these outlays were flat in July.
Manufacturers have plenty of customer demand, but broad labor and supply shortages have slowed production. That’s hampering the economic recovery and spurring a big increase in inflation.
Eventually the shortages will go away, but they are likely to persist at least through the end of the year.