U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in September for the first time in four months, the Institute for Supply Management reported Monday. Of the 18 manufacturing industries tracked by the index, 11 reported growth in the month.
The Purchasing Managers Index reading of 51.5, up 2 points, moved it into growth territory. A reading of 50 or higher indicates growth. The ISM New Orders Index registered 52.3 and also moved into expansion, rising 5.2 points. Export orders rose 1.5 points to 48.5, thus are still contracting but at a slower pace.
The ISM employment Index rose 3.1 points to 54.7. Hiring has now expanded for 36 straight months. The Production Index, at 49.5 percent, increased 2.3 points, indicating contraction but at a slower pace. Inventories grew, but were down 2.5 percentage points to 50.5. Prices rose 4 full points to a reading of 58.0, indicating growth at a faster pace.
Journal of Commerce Economist Mario Moreno, comments:
“In the midst of a global economic slowdown, U.S. manufacturing activity rebounded in September, likely due to a pickup in motor vehicle production orders. Weak markets in Asia and Europe remain persistent headwinds to the U.S. manufacturing sector expansion, as evidenced by the export orders index still in contraction.”