ISM Manufacturing Index Gains For 113th Month: 4 Top Picks

Per the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), its manufacturing index, for the month of September, increased for the 113th month on the trot.

Such an increase was achieved on the back of robust demand. Despite trade war remaining a concern for factories, the ISM stated that manufacturing activities have been improving steadily, which point toward a resilient and burgeoning economy. Under such circumstances, betting on stocks from the manufacturing sector seems prudent.

Robust Demand Propels Manufacturing Activity

The ISM Manufacturing Index increased to 59.8% last month, in line with the consensus estimate. Although the reading came in lower than 61.3% in August, a level above 50% implies that manufacturing is expanding.

The fall in the metric can, therefore, be deemed momentary as it stems from concerns related to tariffs. What should rather be noted is that industrial output remained strong in the month as business houses raised spending on machinery and equipment. Further, healthy domestic demand on the back of steadily rising wages, low tax rates and robust labor market conditions kept the sector afloat.

Other Factors Supporting Growth

The Production Index surged 63.9% last month, increasing 0.6 percentage points from August. Further, the Employment Index increased to 58.8% in September, registering a 0.3 percentage point increase from August. This was its highest reading since February.

Further, the New Export Orders Index gained 56% in September, an increase of 0.8 percentage points from August. This was the 31st consecutive month of gains for the metric. Finally, the New Orders Index fell to 61.8% last month.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries which were surveyed, 15 reported growth. Such industries include textile mills, miscellaneous manufacturing, plastics & rubber products, computer & electronic products, food, beverage & tobacco products, machinery, apparel, leather & allied products and paper products.

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