Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in October for the second consecutive month following three months of slight contraction, and the overall economy grew for the 41st consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The monthly U.S. manufacturing report was issued Nov.1 by Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. Data is compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide based on purchasing, new orders, production, employment, and price indices.

"The PMI [purchasing managers index] registered 51.7 percent, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from September's reading of 51.5 percent, indicating growth in manufacturing at a slightly faster rate,” Holcomb said in a prepared statement. “The New Orders Index registered 54.2 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from September, indicating growth in new orders for the second consecutive month. The Production Index registered 52.4 percent, an increase of 2.9 percentage points, indicating growth in production following two months of contraction. The Employment Index registered 52.1 percent, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points, and the Prices Index registered 55 percent, reflecting a decrease of 3 percentage points. Comments from the panel this month reflect continued concern over a fragile global economy and soft orders across several manufacturing sectors."

Of the 18 U.S. manufacturing industries reflected, eight are reporting growth in October in the following order: Petroleum & Coal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Chemical Products.

The eight U.S. manufacturing industries reporting contraction in October—listed in order—are: Primary Metals; Wood Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Computer & Electronic Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

The full text version of the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business is posted on ISM's website at

The next Manufacturing ISM Report On Business featuring the November 2012 data will be released Dec. 3, 2012.

ISM Report