Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in October for the fourth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 24th consecutive month, according to the latest survey of purchasing managers by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Tempe, Ariz. ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index is 57 percent in October, an increase of 3.3 percentage points when compared to 53.7 in September.
“The manufacturing sector enjoyed its fourth consecutive month of growth as new orders continue to lead the recovery,” said Norbert J. Ore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee and group director, strategic sourcing and procurement, Georgia Pacific Corp. “Production made a sharp swing upward during October, signifying growth for the sixth consecutive month.”
Comments from purchasing and supply managers seem to be lagging the data. The indexes indicate significant improvement, but the purchasing and supply managers’ comments do not reflect this trend.
Added Ore, “This is the best report that we have seen in quite some time in terms of the overall strength of manufacturing. The picture continues to improve, and it appears that manufacturing will finish 2003 on a very positive note, assuming the recent trend continues.”