As reported by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing grew, but at a slower rate than the previous month. In October the PMI registered 50.9%, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points as compared to September's reading of 52%.
A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.
"October's ISM index is right on the edge between decline and growth," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "The decline in the production and backlog indexes and increase in prices is worrisome. The trade indicators, however, are the most positive aspects of the report. Imports are contracting while export are growing faster. With major pieces of the industrial sector declining (e.g. housing-related products, motor vehicles, diesel engine machinery) and the petrochemical industry being cost squeezed by high oil prices, the very positive trade picture may be what is keeping the industry's head slightly above water."