SILVER SPRING, Md. – U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in November with producers trying to keep up with demand amid ongoing supply shortages and delays.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to a reading of 61.1 in November, just above September’s 60.8.
Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector has recorded 18 straight months of growth going back to spring of 2020 when the pandemic broke.
Sub-categories of new orders, production and employment all grew at a faster pace in November, though many respondents commented that they are still struggling to hire. ISM's report said that 86% of the employment comments related to hiring, with 51% of those respondents saying they are struggling to fill positions, an increase from October.
Companies are also struggling to keep their inventories stocked due to elevated demand. ISM's customer's inventories index registered a reading of 25.1 in November, the 62nd straight month that it's been what is considered too low.