Manufacturing Sector Growth Continues in September

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 55.4 points in September, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points from the August reading of 56 points, according to the Institute for Supply Management. This indicates expansion in the overall economy for the fifth month in a row after a contraction in April, which ended a period of 131 consecutive months of growth. Comments from respondents were generally optimistic regarding the near-term outlook.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, Paper Products; Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; and Transportation Equipment reported growth.

Four industries that reported contraction in September were Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Primary Metals.

The Employment Index registered 49.6%, an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the August reading of 46.4%. This is the 14th consecutive month of employment contraction.

The New Orders Index registered 60.2% in September, a decrease of 7.4 percentage points from August’s reading of 67.6%. This is the fourth month of growth for the index.

The New Export Orders Index registered 54.3%, up 1.0 percentage point from August.

The Inventories Index registered 47.1% in September, an increase of 2.7 percentage points from the August reading of 44.4%. Inventories contracted for the third straight month.

Read the ISM release.