Businesses boosted their orders for machinery, electronics products and airplanes in May after a big cutback in the previous month.
The Commerce Department says orders for long-lasting manufactured products increased 1.9 percent in May following a revised 2.7 percent decline in April. A key category that signals business investment plans rose 1.6 percent in May.
The weakness in April was attributed in part to the supply disruptions that occurred following the March 11 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which disrupted Japanese productions. The inability to get critical component parts in such industries as autos and electronics slowed U.S. manufacturing. Economists believe that slowdown will be temporary and the rebound in May orders supports that view.