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Southeast manufacturing activity up slightly

Source: Press release

KENNESAW, Georgia — Manufacturing activity in the southeastern United States was up by 0.8 point, according to the Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business.

The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index – a reading of manufacturing activity in the six-state Southeast – for October was 52.7, marking the first increase in the last six months. The Southeast PMI encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, corresponding with the territory served by the Sixth Federal Reserve District.

The Southeast PMI recorded an average of 55.8 for the May-October period, 3.1 points below the October reading, said economist Don Sabbarese, director of the Econometric Center.

Consistent with the slight improvement in production, employment and finished inventory, more manufacturers are feeling optimistic about a recovery: 34 percent of survey respondents said they expect production to increase in the next three to six months, up from 32 percent in September.

“Manufacturing in the Southeast is still struggling to return to the pace of growth it experienced in the first half of 2010,” Sabbarese said.

Highlights of the October Southeast PMI include:

• Manufacturing activity grew in three states: Tennessee, Florida and Alabama
• Tennessee (59.4) and Mississippi (61.8) reported the highest PMIs

The Southeast PMI reading is a composite of five variables – new orders, production, employment, supply deliveries and finished inventory.

A sixth variable, commodity prices, is compiled by the Coles College’s Econometric Center but does not go into the PMI calculation.

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