The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported this morning that its manufacturing survey rose to 51.5% in September, up 1.9% from August’s reading of 49.6%. The rise is the first in four months. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is expanding. The consensus estimate for the manufacturing index was 49.7%.
The new orders index rose to 52.3%, also the first rise in four months. The production index rose to 49.5%, but that still marks a contraction in production.
The employment index rose to 54.7% in September, up 3.1% from August and the 36th consecutive month of growth.
The new orders for export index was also higher, but at 48.5% is only the fourth month of contraction in the past three years.
Among comments from manufacturers, ISM noted these:
We are sticking to our manufacturing plan, but have slowed production down considerably. Haven’t added any new units to the 2012 plan, and still have no forecast for 2013 released. (Computer and Electronics Products)
Domestic business is up; international is down. (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
The ISM report is available here.