Factory growth picks up from September

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Cars, computers and exports are leading some of the most recent manufacturing growth, according to the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management. Only two areas (Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Furniture & Related Products) shrunk during October, says ISM, while 14 showed expansion.

October was the 15th consecutive month for manufacturing to expand, and the overall economy grew for the 18th consecutive month, ISM reports. And last month’s growth measured 56.9 percent on ISM’s scale, up 2.5 points from September – a good sign, notes Norbert Ore, chair of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.  

“Since hitting a peak in April, the trend for manufacturing has been toward slower growth,” he says. “However, this month’s report signals a continuation of the recovery that began 15 months ago, and its strength raises expectations for growth in the balance of the quarter. Survey respondents note the recovery in autos, computers and exports as key drivers of this growth.”

Any reading above 50 percent indicates manufacturing growth.

The 14 factory sectors reporting growth in October are, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Chemical Products.