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ISM Manufacturing Index at 56.6 for September

The Hill (10/2, Needham) reports that the manufacturing sector expanded at a slower pace in September. The Institute for Supply Management’s index fell to 56.6 from 59 in August due to drops in new orders and hiring. Chief economist at the NAM Chad Moutray said, “Overall, manufacturing sentiment was a bit softer than expected in September, but the underlying data show strong expansions in both demand and output.” New orders fell to 60 from 66.7, hiring dropped to 54.6 from 58.1, and exports fell to 53.5 from 55. “While it is disappointing that the employment index declined somewhat in September, the longer term trend line reflects improvements from earlier in the year,” Moutray said, adding that “Manufacturing leaders are mostly positive about the coming months… Yet, business leaders are also keenly aware of possible risks on the horizon.”

IndustryWeek (10/2) reports Moutray said that while the drop in the employment index was “disappointing,” he highlighted areas that showed improvements and noted the longer trend lines have been positive since earlier this year. “For instance, the hiring measures averaged 57.0 in the third quarter, a nice step up from the 51.9 and 53.4 averages in the first and second quarters, respectively,” said Moutray.

The Wall Street Journal (10/2, Madigan, Subscription Publication) reports Moutray pointed out that the ISM employment index rose during each quarter of 2014, saying “it reflects a trend in the right direction.”

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