Shipment of factory orders in July increased while new orders fell, according to a new Commerce Department report.

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Overall shipments increased 1.1% from June, the second hike out of the past three months, while shipments of manufactured durable goods, down three out of the last four months, fell 0.3%, following a 0.1% June decrease. Shipments of manufactured nondurable goods, up two out of the last three months, increased 2.4%.

New orders in July fell 2.4% following three consecutive monthly increases. A 19.4% drop in new transportation orders pulled it down. When they are excluded total new orders for July increased 1.2%.

Manufactured durable goods orders in July declined 7.4%, following three straight monthly hikes, while those for manufactured nondurable goods increased 2.4%.

The news follows a separate report on Wednesday showing the U.S. economy is improving at a moderate pace in the second half of July through the end of August.

The Federal Reserve’s “beige book” is a summary of conditions in 12 regions of the country. Eight reported moderate growth, three showing it was modest and the final one indicating it the economy had improved. Overall, the report also noted consumer spending has increased in most districts and manufacturing expanded modestly nationwide.

Some analysts say this is evidence the American economy is growing at a faster rate than the 1.8% annual pace recorded in the first half of the year.