US manufacturing sector expanding, but risks remain

Nov 02, 2016

U.S. factory activity increased for a second straight month in October amid a pickup in production and hiring, supporting views that the embattled manufacturing sector would regain some momentum in the fourth quarter.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Tuesday said its index of national factory activity rose 0.4 percentage point to a reading of 51.9 percent last month. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy.

Manufacturing has suffered a prolonged slump in the aftermath of the dollar's surge between June 2014 and December 2015, which has constrained exports. Activity has also been hurt by the collapse in oil drilling after oil prices plunged.

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