ISM Manufacturing Index Rises to 60.8 in September -- Update

By Harriet Torry Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. factory-sector activity expanded for the 13th consecutive month in September, to its highest reading since May 2004.

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The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity climbed to 60.8 last month from 58.8 in August. A reading above 50 indicates sector expansion as measured by factors such as sales, output and hiring.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 58.0.

Write to Harriet Torry at harriet.torry@wsj.com

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. reached a 13-year high in September, as strong demand and order growth rode out a severe hurricane season.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity climbed to 60.8 last month from 58.8 in August, its highest reading since May 2004. A reading above 50 indicates sector expansion as measured by factors such as sales, output and hiring.

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The reading exceeded economist expectations and suggests high consumer and business confidence and a soft dollar are continuing to boost American manufacturers.

Timothy Fiore, head of the ISM survey, said the factory sector appears to be weathering the impact of three recent major Atlantic hurricanes -- Harvey, Irma and Maria. He expects r esidual impact from the hurricanes over the next three to six months, but "overall, they are not going to change the fundamental factors of demand, and in fact could reflect increased demand because of the destruction element."

The survey found "expanding business conditions, with new orders, production, employment, order backlogs and export orders all growing in September," ISM said.

September's reading for new orders jumped 4.3 percentage points on the month to 64.6. Exports increased on the month too, aided by a weak dollar.

"All indications are that things are moving along," Mr. Fiore said.

Write to Harriet Torry at harriet.torry@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 02, 2017 11:44 ET (15:44 GMT)