U.S. manufacturing expands in September

Following a three-month slide into contraction, the U.S. manufacturing economy expanded slightly in September.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM, Tempe, Arizona) reported on Oct. 1 that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector exanded in September following three consecutive months of slight contraction, and the overall economy grew for the 40th consecutive month. ISM's index registerd 51.5 percent. A reading of more than 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; less than 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

The report was issued by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The PMITM registered 51.5 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from August's reading of 49.6 percent, indicating a return to expansion after contracting for three consecutive months. The New Orders Index registered 52.3 percent, an increase of 5.2 percentage points from August, indicating growth in new orders after three consecutive months of contraction. The Production Index registered 49.5 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points and indicating contraction in production for the second time since May 2009. The Employment Index increased by 3.1 percentage points, registering 54.7 percent. The Prices Index increased 4 percentage points from its August reading to 58 percent. Comments from the panel reflect a mix of optimism over new orders beginning to pick up, and continued concern over soft global business conditions and an unsettled political environment."

Last 12 months:

  • September 2012: 51.5
  • August 2012: 49.6
  • July 2012: 49.8
  • June 2012: 49.7
  • May 2012: 53.5
  • April 2012: 54.8
  • March 2012: 53.4
  • February 2012: 52.4
  • January 2012: 54.1
  • December 2011: 53.9
  • November 2011: 52.7
  • October 2011: 50.8