US manufacturing data points to solid gains in November

Posted on December 1, 2016

US manufacturing growth gathered steam in November, according to data released on Thursday, improving over last month’s readings and beating analysts’ forecasts in the latest sign the world’s largest economy is strengthening at the end of 2016.

The ISM manufacturing index for November was 53.2, beating out expectations of 52.5 and improving over last month’s reading of 51.9, data showed. Any readings above 50 points to expansion.

The data comes a day after the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago’s purchasing manager’s index surged to 57.6, its highest point since January 2015 and well over economists’ expectations for more modest growth.

Meanwhile, the IHS Markit US manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, also released on Thursday, rose to 54.1 in November, a solid boost over the 53.4 posted last month and beating the initial flash reading of 53.9.

It also stayed on the positive side of the 50 mark, with domestic demand a strong point. Although a stronger US dollar had hurt exporters, importers benefited from the surging greenback. And while employment was ticking up, survey respondents reported some uncertainty in their future outlook and concerns about the possibility that prices could rise.

The data point to a “sustained acceleration” in US manufacturing growth, the report said, with production volumes and incoming new work increasing at the fastest pace since March 2015. The figures added “to signs of buoyant business conditions in the US manufacturing sector,” said IHS Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.

Earlier on Thursday, data showed that factories in the eurozone had in November enjoyed their best month since the start of 2014, thanks to a weaker euro and strong performances in northern economies.

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