Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Manufacturing grew more than expected in August

The factory growth surprises many economists

Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded at a faster pace than many had forecast in August, rising for the 13th consecutive month.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 56.3 from 55.5 in July, the group said today. Readings over 50% in the ISM index indicate that more firms are growing than contracting.

Norbert Ore, head of the ISM's survey committee, said production drove the index higher.

The production index increased in August to 59.9% from 57.0%.

"There is no sign of double-dip in manufacturing right now," Ore said.

Eleven of 18 industries as tracked by ISM grew in August, led by primary metals, apparel, and transportation equipment

ISM’s U.S. new orders index fell to 53.1 from 53.5.

The employment gauge rose to 60.4 from 58.6 in July and the index of export orders fell to 55.5 from 56.5 the prior month.

Most economists had not expected the index to rise to such a degree. Recent regional factory reports showed the manufacturing expansion weakening. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index contracted this month for the first time in a year, while the New York Fed’s gauge rose less than forecast.

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