Fresh orders for manufactured durable goods showed a 4.2 percent monthly gain in June, evidencing strong demand for transportation equipment and rising substantially from last month's increase, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday. 

Analysts polled by expected, on average, a gain of 1.8 percent, compared with the May increase of 3.6 percent. On a yearly basis, the indicator increased by 3.7 percent in June.

The results beat expectations sharply, as demand for nondefense aircraft and parts clocked in at an increase of $6.5 billion. 

Excluding volatile transportation orders, new orders increased only very slightly. Excluding new military orders, new orders rose 3 percent.

In the past three months, demand for aircraft equipment has consistently boosted the monthly indicator, leading to sustained minor increases of 3.3 percent to 3.6 percent.

That followed a 5.9 percent decline in March 2013.

The survey compiles data from manufacturers with more than $500 million in annual shipments and takes into account order backlogs, inventories and shipments.