This Survey Says Assembly Lines May Speed Up A Bit

A new monthly economic index points to a small improvement in the outlook for U.S. manufacturing. The business-outlook index produced by the American Production & Inventory Control Society in Falls Church, Va., and Evans Economics Inc. rose to 51 in September from 48.6 in August. The biggest boost to the index came from an unusually low reading for the inventory/sales ratio, which suggests that future production will have to pick up to meet orders. The new index, which incorporates information on shipments, employment, orders, and production plans, is based on confidential survey responses from about 100 manufacturing companies.

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