The PMI Composite Index registered 56.2 percent in September 2013, its fourth consecutive month-to-month increase, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The index has risen 7.2 points since May 2013.
The current level is 0.5 percentage points above August’s index of 55.7, and the highest since April 2011 when the index sat at 59.4. The 12-month average from September 2012 through September 2013 inched up four-tenths of a percentage point from August to 52.4.
Despite the jump in the composite index, the ISM new orders index declined 2.7 percentage points in September to 60.5, after a total increase of 14.4 points in the prior three weeks. The 12-month average rose 0.7 percentage points to 54.3. New orders have expanded in all months but one this year.
The ISM employment index climbed 2.1 percentage points to 55.4 in September, the third straight month of expansion. The employment index’s 12-month average inched up 0.2 percentage points to 52.3 in September.
The inventories index in September gained 2.5 percentage points from August to reach 50.0, representing the first month of expansion since June. The 12-month average remained flat at 48.4.