The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 51.7 in October, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. This marks the highest index since May, and a 0.2 percent increase over September’s 51.5 reading.
On the index, 50 is the dividing line between growth and contraction.
The reading marks the second consecutive month of growth in the manufacturing, following three consecutive months of contraction, and the 41st consecutive month of growth in the overall economy.
“Manufacturing as a whole appears to be trying to regain momentum,” Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM survey, said on a conference call, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. However, ISM’s polling data and comments from respondents “suggest a lukewarm environment for demand. The global economy is still fragile.”
The growth is attributed to America’s continued manufacturing strength as European and Asian manufacturing have weakened. However, further growth and fears of the “fiscal cliff” after the presidential election are already colliding, as companies are experiencing lower orders over this uncertainty.
Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturing expanded as well. The first growth in three months suggests “the world’s second-biggest economy is rebounding after a seven-quarter slowdown.”
ISM’s full report is available here.