U.S. manufacturing output continued to expand in November but at a slower pace than the prior month, according to a report Friday.
The IHS Markit U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index dropped to 53.9 in November from 54.6 in October. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below 50 indicate contraction.
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The report noted continued increases in output and new orders in November, while staffing levels rose at a robust pace despite overall job creation softening. However, capacity pressures--which have been exacerbated by a spate of hurricanes earlier this year--helped increase backlogs and output charges rose at the fastest pace since December 2013, the report said.
Business confidence, the report said, reached its highest level since January 2016.
The report noted that while workforce numbers grew at the fastest pace in six months, production increases slowed, causing the level of outstanding business to rise for the first time since April.
"What's especially encouraging is that growth is being led by producers of business equipment and machinery, indicating investment spending is on the rise," said Chris Williamson, IHS Markit chief business economist.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 01, 2017 10:44 ET (15:44 GMT)