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September 2, 2010    

US factory data offset double dip recession fears

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by Gill Montia
US factory data offset double dip recession fears

The US Institute for Supply Management (ISM) has offset fears of a double dip recession in America by reporting a rise in its index of factory activity, to 56.3 in August, up from 55.5 in July.

A reading in excess of 42%, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy and the August result suggests growth has occurred for the 16th consecutive month, as well as expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 13th consecutive month.

Eleven of the 18 manufacturing industries reporting growth in August are as follows: Primary Metals; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities.

The five industries reporting contraction in August are: Furniture & Related Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Machinery.

In addition, the ISM’s Employment Index registered 60.4% in August. Having leapt 1.8% since July, it is now showing nine consecutive months of growth in manufacturing employment.

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