US PMI for SeptemberClick image to enlarge

The latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business has been released by the US Institute for Supply Management, showing that the US economy continues to grow despite challenges.

The ISM’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index shows that the US manufacturing sector grew in September, with the nation’s economy recording its 16th consecutive month of growth. The Index registered 61.1 per cent for September, 1.2 points ahead of August’s 59.9 per cent, indicating continued growth in the economy.

Manufacturing performed well for the 16th straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering month-over-month growth.

New orders registered 66.7 per cent, unchanged from August, while production was down slightly at 59.4 per cent. The Inventories Index registered 55.6 per cent, 1.4 percentage points higher than the August reading of 54.2 per cent.

The performance is remarkable given the persistence of unprecedented obstacles and ever-increasing demand. Supply chains continue to struggle to meet demand due to difficulties in hiring and a clear cycle of labour turnover, as workers opt for more attractive job opportunities. Disruptions from COVID-19, primarily in Southeast Asia, continue to have an impact on many industry sectors. And congestion at ports in China and the US continues to be a challenge, as transportation networks remain stressed.

“All segments of the manufacturing economy are impacted by record-long raw materials lead times, continued shortages of critical materials, rising commodities prices and difficulties in transporting products,” said Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Global pandemic-related issues—worker absenteeism, short-term shutdowns due to parts shortages, difficulties in filling open positions and overseas supply chain problems—continue to limit manufacturing growth potential.

“However, optimistic panel sentiment remains strong, with three positive growth comments for every cautious comment.”

Read the full report.

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