Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity improved in September.
At 51.5 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) rose 3.83% since August remaining 1.90% below the level seen a year earlier.
Respondents now appear to have mixed assessments of the current state of the economy with some reporting continued weakness while others see a better Q4:
"Appears that our so-called 'slowdown' was a summer thing. September brings with it increasing requirements and business." (Paper Products)
"Business improved through Q3, but is beginning to show signs of slowing down in Q4; this has been a typical trend over the last few years." (Wood Products)
"Business has picked up going into the last quarter." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
"We are sticking to our manufacturing plan, but have slowed production down considerably. Haven't added any new units to the 2012 plan, and still have no forecast for 2013 released." (Computer & Electronic Products)
"Sales have tanked over the last two months, bringing a very concerned and stressed management team. Not very optimistic for the near-term future." (Apparel, Leather & Allied Products)
"Uncertainty in the healthcare legislation (reform) continues to be the underlying force keeping our sales revenue below its full potential." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
"Steel and aluminum prices still dropping, and auto production orders are up." (Transportation Equipment)
"Domestic business is up; international is down." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
"Demand seems to have stabilized from August. New orders are appearing this month without advanced notice from our customers." (Chemical Products)