The manufacturing sector expanded for a second consecutive month in October, according to the latest monthly purchasing managers index (PMI) released by the Institute for Supply Management. The PMI came in at 51.7%, 0.2 percentage points higher than September's figure. The two gains follow three months of light contraction.
A reading above 50% indicates the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates it is generally contracting.
Eight of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth during the month. The top three in terms of growth were petroleum and coal products, furniture and related products, and apparel, leather and allied products.
In terms of index subcategories, production saw the highest rise in October, gaining 2.9 percentage points to 52.4%.
The PMI is a widely followed gauge of manufacturing activity, and is compiled from survey data from companies in the sector.