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Almost all of the latest regional data, industry figures and government reports boasted momentum in the nation's industrial sector, and it’s probably poised to continue at least through the end of the year.
While the recovery efforts from hurricanes Harvey and Irma are undoubtedly helping propel business activity, sturdy domestic sales and improving international demand represent solid pillars. Orders have piled up and caused backlogs to mount, indicating a boost in production that will drive the economy. These are all reasons why factories have been beefing up their workforces.
The Institute for Supply Management’s latest account of October showed a factory purchasing managers’ index hovering near a 13-year high, with 16 of 18 industries indicating growth. Comments in the report pointed to firm orders in the wake of recoveries in hurricane-affected parts of the country. But activity was also stronger excluding the rebound from the storms.
The ISM’s national report last week was foreshadowed by robust regional data.
The MNI Chicago Business Barometer, which also includes service providers, unexpectedly advanced to the highest level since March 2011. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ manufacturing gauge was the firmest in more than 11 years, the Kansas City Fed’s measure advanced to the strongest reading since March 2011 and the New York Fed’s index climbed to a three-year high.
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