The nation's manufacturing sector continued growing over an array of industries last month, though there is a bit of disagreement as to how fast it is expanding, following the release of two reports.
The closely watched Purchasing Managers Index from the Institute for Supply Management showed on Wednesday that the October reading was 58.7%, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the September reading of 60.8%.
A reading over 50% indicates manufacturing is expanding while below 50% signals contraction.
This latest headline reading indicates growth in manufacturing for the 14th consecutive month and continued expansion consistent with pre-hurricane levels, according to the report.
Also, the New Orders Index registered 63.4%, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from September while the Production Index registered 61%, a 1.2 percentage point decrease from the month before.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed, 16 reported growth in October.
Meantime, a similar gauge from financial information services provider IHS Markit showed the manufacturing sector during October operated at its best level in nine months.
Its U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) registered 54.6 in October, up from 53.1 in September. The latest index figure indicated a solid improvement in manufacturing operating conditions. That was the fastest seen since the start of the year, according to the group.
Like the ISM measure, a reading above 50 for the PMI gauge indicates manufacturing is expanding.
The report noted that production grew at an accelerated rate in October, with the pace of expansion reaching an eight-month high. Anecdotal evidence suggested the rise was due to a strong demand environment and larger new order volumes. Similarly, new business received by manufacturers increased solidly and at the fastest pace since March. Panelists generally attributed the upturn to larger client bases.
“U.S. manufacturing stepped up a gear at the start of the fourth quarter, boding well for higher factory production to ...Read the rest of this story