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Manufacturing Expands for 14th Consecutive Month

Manufacturing expanded in September, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The Purchasing Managers Index stood at 54.4, a decrease of 1.9 percent points from August.

September marks 14 consecutive months of growth for manufacturing and 17 consecutive months of growth for the overall economy.

According to the report, manufacturing continues to experience a stronger recovery than other sectors of the economy, but the rate of recovery is slowing. Production also continues to outpace growth in new orders.

Thirteen of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in September, including: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; Paper Products; Machinery; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The three industries reporting contraction in September are: Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

Respondents said:

  • "Business results (top and bottom line) continue to meet or exceed our operating plan and exceed prior year performance by double digits." (Chemical Products)
  • "Business continues flat relative to prior month and is expected to remain flat. Commodities continue to be the main concern heading into 2011." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • "Our business is softening due to seasonal considerations. Overall, our situation is much better than 2009." (Machinery)
  • "Customers seem to be pulling back on orders. I suspect that they are trying to reduce their inventory for the approaching year-end." (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Strategic customers reducing order quantities." (Computer & Electronic Products)
The complete ISM Report on Business can be found here.

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