Friday, 2 November 2012

US manufacturing expands, consumer confidence highest in over 4 years

US economic data on Thursday showed that the economy entered the fourth quarter on a positive note.

US manufacturing expanded in October, with the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing PMI rising to 51.7 from 51.5 in September. Markit's manufacturing PMI dipped to 51.0 in October from 51.1 in September but still indicated expansion.

A report from the Conference Board showed that its consumer confidence index increased to 72.2 in October, the highest since February 2008, from 68.4 in September.

US consumer sentiment has been boosted by an improving labour market. Private employers added 158,000 workers in October, the biggest gain since February, according to ADP, and initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 363,000 last week.

Another report on Thursday showed that construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September.

There were also some better data coming out of China on Thursday. China's official manufacturing PMI rose to 50.2 in October from 49.8 in September while HSBC's manufacturing index rose to 49.5 in October from 47.9 in September.

The improvements in manufacturing in October bypassed the UK though. The CIPS/Markit manufacturing PMI fell to 47.5 in October from 48.1 in September.

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