Business and Industry

U.S. Manufacturing Remains Weak

It doesn't look so good for the near future

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Manufacturing's continued weakness emerged from a broad data dump Thursday, a contrast to increasingly buoyant consumers and construction's rebound.

The Institute for Supply Management's factory activity index edged up to 51.7 in October from 51.5 in September, signaling slightly faster growth. But most components worsened, including the employment gauge.

Earlier regional gauges softened last month, though the latest ISM report suggests manufacturing sentiment may be stabilizing, with help from central bank stimulus policies, wrote Bricklin Dwyer, a BNP Paribas analyst, in a client note.