New orders for manufactured durable goods in December increased $3.0 billion or 1.2% to $254.4 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced. This increase, up two consecutive months, followed a 1.0% November increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.8%. Transportation equipment, up four of the last five months, led the increase, $2.8 billion or 3.3% to $90.2 billion.