Manufacturing sector holds up for US recovery

AMERICA’S economic recovery looks set to be propped up by its manufacturing sector, after 21 straight months of growth were recorded to April.

The Institute for Supply Management said yesterday that its index of US factory activity fell slightly from 61.2 in March, yet still indicated strong growth with a reading of 60.4 in April. All readings above 50 reflect expansion.

Growth in new orders and production also slowed by 1.6 and 5.2 points respectively, but the survey showed acceleration in the backlog of orders, up 8.5 points, and exports, up 6 points.

“Overall, manufacturing is still going strong although the same can’t be said for the construction sector,” commented Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics.

While construction spending rose at its fastest pace in 11 months in March, up 1.4 per cent, February’s data was revised to show a bigger decline than originally reported, down 2.4 per cent.