New orders climbed by $3.3 billion to $469 billion after a slightly revised drop of 0.7 percent in April -- a decline previously reported as 0.6 percent.
For May, new orders rose 0.4 percent with the volatile category of transportation excluded from the data.
Just as that implies, transportation orders posted the largest gains in the month with orders reaching $63.1 billion, a jump of $1.7 billion or 2.7 percent.
While showing gains for the month, the longer trend points to a manufacturing decline. Orders for consumer goods are up for two consecutive months, rising 0.3 percent in May. Orders for vehicles also rose following a month of declining orders.
Orders for non-durable goods also rose, climbing 0.2 percent or $600 million to $251.7 billion.
Shipments of manufactured goods gave risen for five of the past six months and rose by 0.8 percent in May to $224.3 billion. Shipments of transportation items posted the largest increase, rising by $1 billion or 1.6 percent to $65.1 billion.
Unfilled orders dropped for the second consecutive month following 27 consecutive months of increases. In May, unfilled orders fell by $400 million to $984.4 billion.
Inventories of durable goods, up 28 of the past 29 months, rose 0.5 percent to $365.6 billion in May. Inventories of non-durable goods, declining for the third consecutive month, fell 1.2 percent to $238.9 billion.