U.S. Manufacturing Has Strongest Year Since 2004

by Marilou Moursund on January 4, 2018

in Earnings,Economic Indicators,manufacturing

Manufacturing data confirms the strong earnings that companies have been reporting.  The factory index came in at 59.7(readings above 50 indicate expansion), and the new orders index at 69.4 is the highest in 14 years.  From the linked Bloomberg article:

The survey-based measure of factory activity — the year’s second-highest behind September, when storm-related supply delays boosted the index — brings the 2017 average to 57.6, the best in 13 years. The latest gain extends a string of strong readings that’s been fueled by more domestic business investment, improving global economies and steady spending by American households.

A common refrain from companies surveyed, though, was difficulty finding highly-skilled labor, and some firms are paying higher wages to attract the workforce needed, ISM manufacturing survey committee chairman Timothy Fiore said on a conference call with reporters.

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