Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October, and the overall economy grew for the 114th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing Report On Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
ISM’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) registered 57.7 percent in October, down 2.1 percentage points from September, but still above the 50-point mark indicating expansion in manufacturing. ISM’s New Orders, Production and Employment indices all grew at a slower rate during the month as well.
“Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength. Demand remains moderately strong, with the New Orders Index easing to below 60 percent for the first time since April 2017, the Customers’ Inventories Index remaining low but improving, and the Backlog of Orders Index remaining steady,” Timothy R. Fiore, chairman of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said in a statement announcing the monthly report. “Consumption softened, with production and employment continuing to expand, but at lower levels compared to September. Inputs—expressed as supplier deliveries (increased), inventories and imports—retained September’s levels. Continued supply chain delivery difficulties led to an increased consumption of inventory, and import expansion was stable. Lead-time extensions continue, while steel and aluminum prices are stabilizing. Supplier labor issues and transportation difficulties continue to disrupt production, but at more manageable levels.”
ISM said 13 of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed reported growth during the quarter.