Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in October, with the overall economy achieving a 17th consecutive month of growth, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
“The October Manufacturing PMI registered 60.8%, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the September reading of 61.1 percent,” according to Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 17th month in a row after a contraction in April 2020.
“The New Orders Index registered 59.8%, down 6.9 percentage points compared to the September reading of 66.7%. The Production Index registered 59.3%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point compared to the September reading of 59.4%.
“The Prices Index registered 85.7%, up 4.5 percentage points compared to the September figure of 81.2%. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 63.6%, 1.2 percentage points lower than the September reading of 64.8%.
“The Employment Index registered 52%, 1.8 percentage points higher compared to the September reading of 50.2%. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 75.6%, up 2.2 percentage points from the September figure of 73.4%.
“The Inventories Index registered 57%, 1.4 percentage points higher than the September reading of 55.6%. The New Export Orders Index registered 54.6%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points compared to the September reading of 53.4%. The Imports Index registered 49.1%, a 5.8-percentage point decrease from the September reading of 54.9%.”
“Manufacturing performed well for the 17th straight month, with demand and consumption registering month-over-month growth, in spite of continuing unprecedented obstacles (including the Imports Index moving into contraction territory) and ever-increasing demand,” Fiore added. “Meeting demand remains a challenge, due to hiring difficulties and a clear cycle of labor turnover: As workers opt for more attractive job opportunities, panelists’ companies and their suppliers struggle to maintain employment levels. Disruptions from COVID-19, primarily in Southeast Asia, continue to have an impact on many industry sectors. Congestion at ports in China and the U.S. continues to be a headwind, as transportation networks remain stressed. Demand remains at strong levels, despite increasing prices.”
The 16 manufacturing industries reporting growth in October — in the following order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Furniture & Related Products; Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Printing & Related Support Activities; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Paper Products; Primary Metals; and Transportation Equipment. The two industries reporting a decrease in October compared to September are Wood Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.