Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in September 2012 following three consecutive months of slight contraction, and the overall economy grew for the 40th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. However, the Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components manufacturing segment reported contraction in September.
"The PMI registered 51.5%, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from August's reading of 49.6%, indicating a return to expansion after contracting for three consecutive months," said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The New Orders Index registered 52.3%, an increase of 5.2 percentage points from August, indicating growth in new orders after three consecutive months of contraction. The Production Index registered 49.5%, an increase of 2.3 percentage points and indicating contraction in production for the second time since May 2009. The Employment Index increased by 3.1 percentage points, registering 54.7%. The Prices Index increased 4 percentage points from its August reading to 58%. Comments from the panel reflect a mix of optimism over new orders beginning to pick up, and continued concern over soft global business conditions and an unsettled political environment."
Among comments from survey respondents, as reported by ISM, was this from the Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components segment: "Domestic business is up; international is down."
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