U.S. Manufacturing Grows for Second Straight Month

Positive foreign trade helped

The U.S. manufacturing sector grew for the second consecutive month in September but lower than expected by most analysts, the Institute of Supply Management said on Oct. 1.

The institute said its index of the factory sector, also known as the purchasing managers index, fell to 52.6% from 52.9% in August. Any number above 50 indicates growth.

"Both August and September indexes were above the 50 growth threshold. The report on September activity points to a continued increase in manufacturing production that is helped by positive foreign trade dynamics and a slower pace of inventory destocking, said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "A continuation of relatively strong new orders in the report is also very encouraging.

"We view the September ISM report as consistent with our outlook for the industrial sector's recovery. Positive momentum has been restored and will become self-reinforcing as new orders cascade through the domestic supply chain. Extremely low factory utilization and high unemployment will, however, depress heavy capital equipment spending for some time to come and put a damper on the pace of the industrial recovery."

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