Manufacturing Sector Grew in January


The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reports that the U.S. manufacturing sector grew for a sixth straight month in January to its strongest level since August 2004. The ISM’s manufacturing index rose to 58.4 in January from 54.9 in December. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

New orders — a sign of future growth — increased to 65.9 in January, the highest level since 2004, from 64.8 in December. Current production jumped to 66.2 from 59.7, also to its peak since 2004. Backlogs of orders also grew.

Thirteen of 18 industries said they were expanding, led by the apparel, textile mills, and machinery sectors. Manufacturers have been increasing production to fill their customers’ depleted stockpiles. Analysts hope this boost in production will help to drive the economic recovery.

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