New orders for durable goods, manufactured items expected to last three years or longer, increased by 3.6 percent in May, by $8 billion, to a seasonally adjusted $231 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday.

The gain, which compares to a 3.6 percent increase in April, beat analyst expectations of a 3.2 percent increase.

The increase excludes the more volatile orders for transportation products, up 0.7 percent, and it also excludes military orders, which increased 3.5 percent.

What's more, the closely watched core capital goods rate -- considered a barometer of private sector business investment -- rose a decent 1.1%.