Key yardstick of U.S. manufacturers touches highest level since 2004, ISM finds
By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
ISM index hits 60.8 in September as strong orders, employment
The numbers: The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index jumped to 60.8 in September from 58.8%, (https://www.instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm?navItemNumber=30842&SSO=1)hitting the highest level since 2004. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a reading of 58.1%.
The index for new orders climbed 4.3 points to 64.6% and a measure of employment rose to 60.3%, the strongest reading since 2011.
Results above 50% indicate expansion and anything over 55% is seen as exceptional.
What happened: Seventeen of the 18 industries surveyed reported growth in August, an unusually high number that reflects the underlying strength of an economy that's been growing for more than eight years.
"Business is strong" said an executive at a maker of plastic and rubber products. "We've had a very good year," said another manufacturing executive.