Excluding transportation, orders increased 0.1 percent and excluding defense, new orders shrank 0.8 percent. Transportation equipment, also up three consecutive months, led the increase, 2.3 percent to $76.9 billion.
Orders for defense capital goods surged 39.3 percent, the largest increase since December of 2012.
Nondefense new orders for capital goods in April decreased 1.0 percent to $82.2 billion. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 1.2 percent after rising by a revised 4.7 percent in March.