Factory Growth on the Upswing in the United States


In a rise not seen for more than two years, the manufacturing industry in the United States is setting a faster pace than expected, despite the recent government shutdown.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released October figures that show factory business rose more than 50 percent in the last month. By ISM measurements, October marks the fifth consecutive month of growth in factory activity this year. Sectors noting improvement include:

  • Textile mills
  • Tobacco items
  • Furniture
  • Printing
  • Electrical
  • Computers and electronics
  • Appliances and components
  • Transportation
  • Coal and Petroleum products

Industries reporting a decline in activity during the same period include:

  • Apparel
  • Leather
  • Miscellaneous manufacturing
  • Chemical and metal products

For the upcoming holiday season, analysts at Morgan Stanley place consumer spending at its weakest since 2008 despite predictions or intensified holiday promotions. The reasons are varied:

  • Consumer confidence remains low
  • Mall traffic is also expected to remain low
  • Decline in consumer spending on Halloween
  • Consumers remain concerned about an economic slowdown and government shutdown
  • Consumers expect the economy to worsen and are not spending money

Whether manufacturing, supply or retail, the present state of the economy poses concerns for most commercial interests in the United States.

For consumers, bargains may come easy this year as major retailers begin early holiday promotional campaigns. An upswing in purchases of high-expense items like cars, homes and major appliances is also predicted for early 2014.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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