Economic Watch: U.S. Manufacturing Expands in October

November 1, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Economic activity in the nation’s manufacturing sector expanded in October for the fifth consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 53rd consecutive month, according to the nation's supply executives in a survey by the Institute of Supply Management.

Manufacturing expanded in October as the index registered 56.4%, an increase of 0.2 percentage point when compared to September's reading of 56.2%. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding while below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth in October.

ISM's New Orders Index registered 60.6% in October, an increase of 0.1 percentage point when compared to the September reading of 60.5%. This represents growth in new orders for the fifth consecutive month, at a slightly faster rate than in September.

The national picture appears to be holding steady, still expanding but a noticeably slower pace,” said Lindsey M. Piegza,
managing director and chief economist at the investment firm Sterne Agee. “On a six-month average basis, the ISM has improved from a trough of 50.2 at the end of 2012 to a current reading of 53.9. Going forward, continued tepid demand both domestically and internationally will keep manufacturing activity in check.”

The full ISM report can be views online.

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