Manufacturers in September reported the fastest improvement in operating conditions since January 2019, according to the U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index released by IHS Markit on Wednesday. The index posted a reading of 53.5 in September, up from 53.1 in August.
This month’s reading was ahead of economists’ forecasts, which called for the index advancing to 53.2, but a measure of new orders received by factories edged down to 54 from 54.1 in August, indicating some softness in demand. A reading above 50 suggests improving conditions.
September’s report marked the fifth straight monthly advance, driven by a faster rise in production. The report also identified that output charges rose at the fastest rate since January 2019, as firms partially passed higher costs on to clients following the growth in demand since April’s lows.
For more information on how the coronavirus is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.