U.S. factory activity surges to highest since 2004

Monday October 02, 2017
Written by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press
Oct. 2, 2017 - U.S. factory activity rose to the highest level in 13 years last month as hurricanes disrupted supplies but drove up demand for manufactured goods.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said its manufacturing index rose to 60.8 from 58.8 in August, the highest reading since May 2004. Anything above 50 signals that manufacturers are growing, and the ISM survey shows they’ve been on a 13-month winning streak.

New orders, production, hiring and new export orders all grew faster in September.

Seventeen of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth, led by textile mills and machinery. Only one industry – furniture manufacturing – contracted last month.

Factories are benefiting from a strengthening global economy and a drop this year in the value of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies. A weaker dollar makes U.S. products less expensive in foreign markets.

Some industries reported that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had disrupted supplies and driven up costs.

Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM’s manufacturing survey committee, said the scramble for supplies for rebuilding in the aftermath of the hurricanes may have driven manufacturing activity higher in September. Factories, he said, “are really struggling to meet demand.”

The overall U.S. economy expanded at a 3.1 per cent annual pace from April through June, fastest rate in more than two years. Unemployment, at 4.4 per cent, is near a 16-year low.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Events

IMTS 2018
September 10-15, 2018
AI Manufacturing 2018
September 12-13, 2018
AUTOMA 2018
October 1-2, 2018

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.