Manufacturing ticks up slightly

The Manufacturing Report on Business for October, released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), showed manufacturing ticked up 0.2 percentage points from September's reading of 56.2 to 56.4. While that number shows some flatness to manufacturing, Bradley Holcomb, chair of the ISM's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, noted that the October Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is the highest reading in 2013.

New orders rose 0.1% in October to 60.6%, however, production slipped from 62.6% in September to 60.8% in October. Employment was also off by 2.2%, from 55.4% in September to 53.2% in October. Inventories rose into expanding territory to 52.5% in October, an increase of 2.5%. Customers' inventories expanded slightly but remained in "contraction" territory (below 50%) at 47.0 but an increase of 4.0%, which is still considered too low. Order backlogs ticked up to 51.5% in October from 49.5% in September.

A 3Q report based on a survey of 60 U.S.-based industrial manufacturing executives from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed that overall, optimism among U.S. industrial products manufacturers surveyed remained at a high 60% level. Optimism about the world economy's prospects over the next 12 months rose from 31% to 40% among those selling abroad - its first positive upward swing since 1Q 2012 when optimism was at 44%.

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