U.S. man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity picked up in Oc­to­ber

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - MARKETPLACE - By Paul Wise­man AP Eco­nomics Writer

WASH­ING­TON >> Man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­panded in the United States and China last month, good news for a sput­ter­ing global econ­omy.

The In­sti­tute for Sup­ply Man­age­ment said Tues­day that its man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dex came in at 51.9, up from 51.5 in Septem­ber. Any­thing above 50 sig­nals growth. Ten of 18 man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries re­ported growth last month.

Sep­a­rately across the Pa­cific, pri­vate and of­fi­cial sur­veys showed Tues­day that China’s fac­tory ac­tiv­ity rose in Oc­to­ber to the high­est level in two years, a sign the world’s sec­ond-big­gest econ­omy may be sta­bi­liz­ing af­ter years of de­cel­er­at­ing growth. The news “adds fuel to the nar­ra­tive that global de­mand is fi­nally heat­ing up af­ter a dis­mal show­ing in the first half of the year,” Fo­tios Rap­tis, se­nior econ­o­mist at TD Eco­nomics, wrote in a re­search re­port.

For U.S. fac­to­ries, pro­duc­tion and ex­port or­ders grew faster in Oc­to­ber. A mea­sure of fac­tory em­ploy­ment rose last month af­ter fall­ing for three straight months. The La­bor Depart­ment is­sues its jobs re­port for Oc­to­ber on Fri­day. The ISM sug­gests the re­port may show that fac­tory em­ploy­ment climbed last month af­ter fall­ing in Au­gust and Septem­ber.

U.S. fac­to­ries have now ex­panded seven of the last eight months, a sign they’ve over­come the weight of a strong dol­lar that makes their prod­ucts costlier in for­eign mar­kets.

“It’s a good start to the fourth quar­ter,” said Bradley Hol­comb, chair of the in­sti­tute’s man­u­fac­tur­ing sur­vey com­mit­tee. The ISM is a trade group of pur­chas­ing man­agers.

Still, the Com­merce Depart­ment re­ported last week that or­ders for bigticket man­u­fac­tured goods dipped in Septem­ber and that a cat­e­gory that tracks busi­ness in­vest­ment reg­is­tered the big­gest drop in seven months.

Over­all, the U.S. econ­omy has picked up speed: The Com­merce Depart­ment re­ported last week that the econ­omy grew at a 2.9 per­cent an­nual clip from July through Septem­ber, fastest in two years.

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