New orders for U.S. factory goods rose for a third straight month in April, pointing to strength in manufacturing and the broader economy.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new orders for manufactured goods increased 0.7 percent. March's orders were revised to show a 1.5 percent increase instead of the previously reported 0.9 percent rise.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new orders received by factories gaining 0.5 percent.

Manufacturing is growing after moderating a bit during a very cold winter. It is likely to continue expanding, with a survey on Monday showing new orders at the nation's factories at their highest level in five months in May.

Orders excluding the volatile transportation category increased 0.5 percent as bookings for primary metals, electrical equipment, appliances and components and capital goods rose.

The department also said orders for durable goods, manufactured products expected to last three years and more, rose 0.6 percent instead of the 0.8 percent gain reported last month.

Durable goods orders excluding transportation increased 0.3 percent instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent gain.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft - seen as a measure of business confidence and spending plans - fell 1.2 percent as reported last month.