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Manufacturing index up in September

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 26th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 28th consecutive month, according to the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management.

“The PMI registered 51.6 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from August, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 26th consecutive month, at a slightly higher rate. The Production Index registered 51.2 percent, indicating a return to growth after contracting in August for the first time since May of 2009,” Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management, said in a statement.

“The New Orders Index remained unchanged from August at 49.6 percent, indicating contraction for the third consecutive month. The Backlog of Orders Index decreased 4.5 percentage points, to 41.5 percent, contracting for the fourth consecutive month and reaching its lowest level since April 2009, when it registered 40.5 percent,” he added.

“Comments from respondents generally reflect concern over the sluggish economy, political and policy uncertainty in Washington, and forecasts of ongoing high unemployment that will continue to put pressure on demand for manufactured products.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 12 reported growth in September, in the following order: wood products; petroleum and coal products; food, beverage and tobacco products; apparel, leather and allied products; nonmetallic mineral products; machinery; miscellaneous manufacturing; transportation equipment; plastics and rubber products; printing and related support activities; chemical products; and computer and electronic products.

The six industries reporting contraction in September — listed in order — are: primary metals; textile mills; furniture and related products; fabricated metal products; paper products; and electrical equipment, appliances and components.

Click here for the full report.

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