TEMPE, AZ -  Wood exports lead U.S. manufactured exports in growth, and furniture manufacturing increased in sales and hiring as overall economic activity in manufacturing expanded in October for the fifth consecutive month, say purchasing managers surveyed by the Institute for Supply Management.

Furniture exports also grew quickly. "Business continues to improve every month for the past nine months," said a purchasing manager for a furniture company who was surveyed for the monthly report, the Purchasing Managers Index, or PMI.





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Average for 12 months – 52.8; High – 56.4 Low – 49.0

The 10 industries reporting growth in new export orders in October — listed in order — are: Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; and Furniture & Related Products.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries tracked, 14 reported growth in October, with Furniture & Related Products ranking third fastest growth - ahead of Electrical Equipment and Computers - and Wood Products ranking ninth, ahead of machinery.

Manufacturing expanded in October as the PMI registered 56.4% up of 0.2 percent when compared to September . A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

ISM's October New Orders Index registered 60.6% in  October, an increase of 0.1 percentage point over September. Furniture & Related Products was ranked fifth of the 10 segments reporting growth. Furniture also ranked fifth in production growth.

Employment Growth

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 12 reported growth in employment in October: Furniture & Related Products was fourth in hiring. The ISM Prices Index registered 55.5% in October, which is a decrease of 1 percentage point compared to the September reading of 56.5%. This month's reading indicates an increase in raw materials prices for the third consecutive month.

Furniture & Related Products also reported an order backlog.