Manufacturing expanded at fastest pace in three years in October, ISM reports


Notch another significant improvement in the nation's manufacturing sector: the Institute for Supply Management announced Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 55.7 percent in October from 52.6 percent in September – the indicator's highest reading since April 2006.

A Bloomberg survey had expected the index to total 53.0 percent in October; the index totaled 52.9 percent in August. It hit a low of 32.9 in December 2008. Readings above 50 indicate an expansion; under 50, a contraction.

Further, the employment component rose to 53.1 percent in October from 46.2 percent: that marks the first time in 14 months that manufacturing employment is adding to economic activity rather than subtracting from it.