WASHINGTON (November 1, 2013) U.S. factory activity expanded in October at the fastest pace in 2 ½ years, suggesting businesses kept spending last month despite the partial government shutdown, according to figures released Friday by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers.
The institute said its manufacturing index rose in October to 56.4, up from 56.2 in September.
A reading above 50 indicates growth.
It was the fifth straight gain for the index.
A measure of new orders rose slightly, while a gauge of production fell but remained at a high level.
Factories added jobs, though at a slower pace than the previous month.