By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The manufacturing sector grew for the ninth consecutive month in April, and at its fastest rate since June 2004, according to a report released Monday.
The Tempe, Ariz.-based Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index rose to 60.4 in April, from a March reading of 59.6. Any score above 50 indicates growth in the manufacturing sector.
April’s number is slightly better than expected, driven by increases in productivity, new orders and manufacturing jobs. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting a reading of 60.
“Overall, the recovery in manufacturing continues quite strong, and the signs are positive for continued growth,” Norbert Ore, chairman of the ISM’s survey committee, said in a release.
Of the 18 industries surveyed in the report, 17 reported growth. Apparel, non-metallic minerals and wood products were among the industries showing the strongest growth.