United States manufacturing growth expanded last month at the fastest pace in 13 years, powered by robust order growth and healthy production, figures from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed yesterday. But officials with the group said manufacturing growth occurred anyway.
"On balance, the continued solid progress of manufacturing and export growth is unlikely to offset concerns about a wider economic slowdown", said Mr Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit. In that way, the results were quite consistent with the latest results for the NAM Manufacturers' Outlook Survey, which found that almost 90 percent of respondents were positive about their own company's business outlook.
The ISM report is based on a survey of 350 purchasing and supply executives.
A reading above 50 indicates the sector is generally expanding, while a reading below that level indicates contraction. The PMI has averaged 56.2% the past 12 months and 57.1% for the first nine months of 2017. In September, new orders (up from 60.3 to 64.6) and production (up from 61.0 to 62.2) both grew at rates not seen since February, and more importantly, hiring (up from 59.9 to 60.3) accelerated at its briskest pace since June 2011. Fourteen industries reported expansion, while three reported a decrease in employment.
The Employment Index increased 0.4 point to 60.3 in September, indicating expansion for the twelfth consecutive month. Thirteen industries reported employment gains. Two industries, furniture and petroleum and coal products, reported a decline.
Timothy Fiore, head of the ISM survey, said he expects residual impact on the sector over the next three to six months because of the hurricanes, but "overall, they are not going to change the fundamental factors of demand, and in fact could reflect increased demand because of the destruction element".
"We're 19 months into an expansion cycle that typically runs 30 months", he said.