Manufacturing flashes strength

@CNNMoney October 3, 2011: 11:06 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Manufacturing activity continued to expand in September, providing markets with a rare piece of positive economic news.

The Institute for Supply Management, a purchasing managers' group, said Monday its manufacturing index registered 51.6 last month, up 1 point from August.

The index has been above 50, the level indicating expansion in the sector, for 26 months.

Economists were anticipating weakness in U.S. manufacturing. According to a survey by, the index was expected to register at 50.5.

While the report was better than expected, the sector remains close to slipping into contraction.

"There is general relief in terms of the overall economy," said John Silvia, an economist at Wells Fargo. "We're not picking up momentum, but we're not losing ground either."

Fix housing, fix the economy

And in this economy, that's what passes as good news.

"The modest rebound in the ISM manufacturing index ... demonstrates that the economy hasn't fallen off a cliff," Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note.

One key component of the index -- new orders -- was unchanged at 49.6, a third straight month of contraction.

Meanwhile, employment numbers provided a bright spot, ticking up 2 points over the previous month to 53.8, a reading consistent with an expanding market for manufacturing jobs. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
  • -->

    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.