America’s factories surprised economists with a stronger than expected reading on the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index. Economists had expected a reading of 57.9, but were pleasantly surprised with a strong reading of 59.3. Harriet Torry reports for The Wall Street Journal:
Readings above 50 indicate activity is expanding across the manufacturing sector, while numbers below 50 signal contraction. November’s reading exceeded the 57.9 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected.
The report was compiled before this weekend’s announcement of a trade truce between the U.S. and China.
Tim Fiore, who oversees the ISM survey of factory purchasing and supply managers, said companies last month had been “moving very aggressively getting material delivered for the first quarter before Dec. 31” due to expected tariff increases in January.
The U.S. announcement it would postpone its threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10% is “definitely a positive move,” Mr. Fiore said.
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