US manufacturing expands for second month in a row
US manufacturing activity expanded at a faster pace for the second consecutive month in October, as 10 industries out of 18 reported growth.
The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing PMI index rose 0.4 point to 51.9 percent following a two-point increase in September. A reading above 50 indicates growth, and the index has been above that key level in seven of the last 12 months.
Transportation equipment, electrical equipment and appliances are among the sectors reporting contraction in the month, but petroleum and coal are now reporting growth in their business.
Production also increased for the second-straight month, to 54.6pc, while employment broke the 50-point level for the first time in several months, and rose to 52.9pc.
The result was “slightly better than expected, consistent with at least modestly positive growth in manufacturing, although the orders detail weakened a bit”, said Jim O’Sullivan of High Frequency Economics.
IHS Markit also reported growth in the US manufacturing sector, with its PMI index hitting the best reading of the year at 53.4, up from 51.5 the previous month.
“October saw manufacturing enjoy its best performance for a year,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
“However, a widespread reticence to take on extra staff highlights lingering caution with respect to investing in capacity, at least until after the presidential election.” –