New orders for both long-lasting merchandise, deemed durable goods, and quickly expended items, such as soap or paper products, rose 2.8 percent following a 0.5 percent decline in June, bureau said.
Order for big-ticket transportation items, such as trucks, ships, planes and trains, rose 14.4 percent, or by $10.1 billion to $80.6 billion.
Transportation provided the biggest boost to new orders. Without transportation figured into the equation, the orders rose 0.7 percent, said the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Department.
The 2.8 percent overall rise in new orders equates to $12.9 billion, bringing total orders to $478.6 billion.
Inventories of durable goods, up for 30 of the past 31 months, rose in July by 0.7 percent to $369.2 billion.
The transportation sector had the largest inventory increase. Also up 30 of the past 31 months, inventories in transportation, rose by $1.3 billion, or 1.2 percent, to $110.4 billion.
Inventories of non-durable goods rose by 0.2 percent or $400 million to $238.1 billion, increasing after fourth consecutive months of declines.