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NAM: Manufacturing expands at fastest pace in more than two years

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (11/1, Depass) reported the Institute for Supply Management said on Friday that the manufacturing sector expanded for the fifth consecutive month in October. ISM’s purchasing managers index hit 56.4. That is the highest level since April 2011. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, said “The big story in this [US] report was the strength of sales.”

IndustryWeek (11/1) reported Moutray “said the third straight month of the new orders index exceeding 60.0 indicated ‘an extremely healthy pace of new orders.’”

The AP (11/2, Rugaber) reported that demand from overseas demand and strong auto sales are supporting factory output. In addition, the housing recovery is “lifting the furniture and wood products industry despite a recent slowing in home sales.”Bloomberg News (11/1, Jamrisko) reported the partial shutdown of the Federal government did little to slowdown the rebound in manufacturing sector since the middle of the year. Terry Sheehan, an economic analyst at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates in New Jersey, said, “The government closure didn’t have much effect on manufacturing – this is a modest pace of growth and fairly well-sustained.” Sheehan also said, “We actually see some increase in the export orders, so it’s possible that some of the slowness in the global economy is beginning to ease.”

The Los Angeles Times (11/1, Lee) reported that, in a note to clients, Michael Dolega, an economist at TD Bank, said, “The outlook for manufacturing looks far more constructive now than it did over the past several months in light of the improving global backdrop.” Dolega added, “Things would look all the better should Washington manage to keep out of the headlines.”

USA Today (11/1, Malcolm), and other media sources also covered the story.

Markit Factory Index Declines In October. Reuters (11/1) reported the Markit Economics final index of manufacturing dropped to 51.8 last from 52.8 in September. Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, suggested the Federal government shutdown probably contributed to the slowdown in output and growth. But Williamson added the sector’s woes last month will prove temporary.

Bloomberg News (11/1, Jamrisko) also covered the story.

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