By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
The numbers: U.S. factory orders rose 6.2% in June to mark the second increase in a row, pointing to a steady rebound after widespread shutdowns in the early stages of the pandemic.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 4.6% increase.
Even after a spike in coronavirus cases since June, the early evidence suggests that manufacturers made further strides in July as well. A survey of industry executives rose to a 15-month high, according to a closely report produced by the Institute for Supply Management.
Orders for non-durable goods such as oil, chemicals and textiles and advanced 5%, the Commerce Department said.
Big picture: The manufacturing side of the U.S. economy strengthened further in July even as some states reimposed restrictions to combat the latest coronavirus spike.
Yet production remains well below precrisis trends and businesses say they are still plagued by uncertainty. Factory orders are off 10% from a year earlier.
Until the virus is brought under control, American factories are expected to produce fewer goods with fewer workers, making it harder for the economy to fully recover.