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October 1, 2012

Manufacturing activity expands for first time since May

by Rylan Stewart

After three months of contraction, in September the manufacturing sector resumed its growth, according to the Institute for Supply and Management (ISM). The monthly ISM index surveys over 300 manufacturing firms, measuring (among other metrics) employment, production, new orders and inventory.

The index moved to a reading of 51.5, which beat expectations and sent the Dow up over 150 points to start the trading week. Any reading above 50 represents expansion, while anything below indicates contraction.

[Related: Durable good orders drop 13.2 percent in August]

The employment component contributed the most to the positive movement, rising 3.1 points to settle at 54.7. New export orders continued to lag for the fourth consecutive month, keeping within trend of a slowing global economy.

 

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