New Orders Index returns to growth

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Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October for the 27th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 29th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business released Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The PMI registered 50.8 percent, a decrease of 0.8 percentage point from September’s reading of 51.6 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 27th consecutive month. Any reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

Among the index components of the most interest to trucking, the New Orders Index return to growth after three months of contraction, increasing 2.8 percentage points from September to 52.4 percent. ISM’s Production Index registered 50.1 percent in October, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points when compared to the September reading of 51.2 percent, but indicating growth for the second consecutive month.

“Comments from respondents are mixed, indicating positive relief from raw materials pricing and continuing strength in a few industries, but there is also more concern and caution about growth in this uncertain economy,” says Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.