United States: Manufacturing PMI edges up
October 3, 2011
The U.S. manufacturing sector is showing unexpected signs of resilience. In September, the ISM manufacturing index (PMI) rose a full percentage point to 51.6%, recovering from August, which had marked the lowest level since July 2009. The increase defied market expectations that had manufacturing PMI broadly stable at 50.5%. The index remains above the 50% threshold, indicating that the manufacturing sector has expanded for the 26th month in a row. The rebound over the previous month was mainly driven by an improvement in the production index which, according to the ISM, showed ?a return to growth after contracting in August for the first time since May of 2009.? Furthermore, the indexes corresponding to exports, employment and customers' inventories also improved markedly from last month. Only the level of imports and inventories declined, although both components remain above the 50% threshold.