The latest Institute for Supply Management survey shows that output at the nation's factories grew for the 26th consecutive month in September.
The PMI registered 51.6 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point when compared to August's reading of 50.6 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
"The Production Index registered 51.2 percent, indicating a return to growth after contracting in August for the first time since May of 2009. The New Orders Index remained unchanged from August at 49.6 percent, indicating contraction for the third consecutive month," said Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
"Comments from respondents generally reflect concern over the sluggish economy, political and policy uncertainty in Washington, and forecasts of ongoing high unemployment that will continue to put pressure on demand for manufactured products," he added.