U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Faster Pace in October

ISM factory index climbs to 51.7, the highest reading since May.

Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in October at a faster pace than projected as orders and production picked up, showing the industry is stabilizing.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 51.7 last month, the highest since May, from 51.5 in September, the Tempe, Arizona, group reported today. Economists estimated 51 for October, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between growth and contraction.

U.K. Manufacturing

In the U.K., manufacturing contracted more than economists forecast in October on waning domestic demand and as export weakness spread to Asia from Europe. A gauge based on a survey of purchasing managers fell to 47.5 from a revised 48.1 in September, Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said in London today. Economists had forecast a decline to 48, according to the median of 27 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Fiscal Cliff

American companies also are concerned about the economic implications of the fiscal cliff, which will be reached in January unless Congress acts to avoid it.

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