3 October 2010 | Angeline Albert
Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 14th consecutive month, according to the nation’s supply executives.
The Report On Business, from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), showed manufacturing growth, but at a slower rate as the purchasing managers’ index registered 54.4. This is a slightly weaker performance than August’s reading of 56.3 per cent. An index above 50 indicates growth.
The rise in new orders continued to slow resulting in a 51.1 score in September. This is a fall of two points when compared to the 53.1 reported in August, and a significant drop on its high of 65.9 per cent in January 2010.
And ISM’s ‘production index’ registered 56.5 per cent in September, down from August’s 59.9 per cent. Norbert Ore, chairman of the ISM manufacturing business survey committee said it is expected to weaken further in the fourth quarter.
He said: “While the headline number shows relative strength this month as the PMI reading of 54.4 per cent is still quite positive, the overall picture is less encouraging. Manufacturing has enjoyed a stronger recovery than other sectors of the economy, but it appears that weaker growth is the expectation for the fourth quarter. Both the ‘inventories’ and ‘backlog of orders’ indexes are sending strong negative signals of weakening performance in the sector.”
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 13 reported growth in September. The US economy overall grew for the 17th consecutive month.