US manufacturing sector continues expansion - key survey

01 October 2009 16:00  [Source: ICIS news]

US manufacturing expandsWASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US manufacturing activity expanded in September for the second consecutive month, although at a slower pace than August, a key index revealed on Thursday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its closely watched purchasing managers index (PMI) was 52.6% in September. An index above 50% indicates expansion.

While activity expanded in September, it was off slightly from August's measurement of 52.9%, the ISM said. Despite the slight dip, the recovery broadened in September, as the number of industries reporting growth rose to 13 from 11.

"Both new orders and production are growing, but at a slower rate when compared to August," according to a statement by Norbert Ore, chairman of the ISM's manufacturing business survey committee

"It appears the fundamentals for continuing recovery are still at work as inventories and sales are gaining balance," he said.

For September's index, the institute asked participants if they expected any benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Out of 18 manufacturing industries, 12 expected to derive some benefit, and 12 expected that their companies to see some benefit.

The US recession is generally said to have begun in December 2007.

Each month the ISM committee surveys purchasing managers in 18 key industries on 10 business performance measures to compile the PMI.

The well-being of the US manufacturing sector is crucial to chemicals production because many manufacturing processes or end-use products are major consumers of chemicals.

Chemicals were among the 13 industries that reported growth, the institute said. Others include such key chemical markets as paper products; textiles; petroleum and coal products; and electronics.

The four sectors that shrank were primary metals; furniture and related products; plastics and rubber products; and machinery.

Customers' inventories remained unchanged.

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By: Al Greenwood
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