Manufacturing Expands Through October Despite Government Shutdown
Manufacturing conditions in the U.S. continued to improve in October despite the 16-day partial government shutdown. How much they improved, though, depends on whom you ask.
According to the Institute for Supply Management, which released the October reading of its Manufacturing Report on Business on Friday morning, business activity within the manufacturing sector actually accelerated for the month. Its headline purchasing managers’ index increased from 56.2 to 56.4, its fifth consecutive month of growth. New orders increased fractionally to 60.6, although the index for production fell from 62.6 to 60.8. The index for employment showed decelerated growth at 53.2, but growth nonetheless.
The shutdown seems to have had an inconsistent affect on the overall industry. Executives from textile mills report that “new business is booming,” while fabricated metal products report that the “government shutting down and threatening to go into a default position is causing all kinds of concerns in our markets.” Transportation equipment manufacturers report that “government spending continues to be slow in defense and military,” but that “the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis did not affect business.”