U.S. Factories Settle Into More Sustainable Expansion

American factories capped their strongest quarter in more than three years, even with the rate of growth easing in September, as manufacturing helps the U.S. economy withstand slower global markets.

While the Institute for Supply Management’s index dropped to 56.6 from 59 in August, the gauge’s average over the past three months was the highest since early 2011, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Readings greater than 50 indicate growth. Other figures showed companies added more than 200,000 workers for a sixth straight month in September, including 35,000 at factories.

Resilient motor vehicle sales, spurred by more employment opportunities, and a pickup in corporate equipment purchases are at the crux of the strongest rate of production in four years. While Europe is stagnating and China is cooling, domestic demand will probably allow U.S. manufacturing to sustain its expansion.


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