Manufacturing in September Hits Highest Level of 2013

SmokestacksWhat government shutdown woes? Oh, wait. That was not until October 1. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that its Manufacturing Index grew for the 52nd consecutive month as its Report on Business came in at 56.2% in September, versus a report for August of 55.7%. Bloomberg had a consensus estimate of 55.0%. What is most important is that this was the highest reading of the year.

The ISM report shows that employment grew, new orders rose and production was up. Inventories were listed as virtually unchanged, and supplier deliveries were called slowing.

We tracked some of the figures shown, and here are the numbers, with some commentary as well:

  • New Orders Index decreased in September by 2.7 percentage points to 60.5 percent.
  • Production Index increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.6 percent.
  • Employment Index registered 55.4 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points to the highest reading for the year.

Comments from the panel of executives surveyed were generally positive and optimistic, with citations being on increasing demand and improving business conditions. We also saw that 11 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in September. We would point out that both exports and imports posted lower readings in September, versus August, as an indication of slower growth. We also saw that the "prices" were up by 2.5 percentage points from the prior month. Six of the 18 industries reporting contraction are as follows:

  • Apparel, leather and allied products
  • Primary metals
  • Textile mills
  • Nonmetallic mineral products
  • Miscellaneous manufacturing
  • Chemical products

Filed under: Economy
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