Buffalo Niagara manufacturers are on track to finish 2016 with a flourish.

The region's manufacturers have put together three straight months of growth, including the biggest increase in a year during November, after struggling for most of the year, a new survey of local purchasing managers found.

"This was overall a pretty favorable report as we draw close to the end of the year," said Jay K. Walker, the Niagara University economist who tracks local manufacturing activity for the Institute of Supply Management – Buffalo.

"It was the third straight positive month locally, and we actually were in tandem with the national index and the statewide Empire State survey as well, which haven’t all aligned often in recent months," Walker said. "Production looked good, New Orders are positive as well."

The November gain was further evidence of a turnaround at local manufacturers, reversing a seven-month slide that began in February and stretched through August.

The latest survey of local purchasing managers showed that business among local manufacturers grew at its fastest pace last month since November 2015, with the group’s business activity index rising to 58.1 from 51.9 in October. Any time the index drops below 50, it’s a sign that the manufacturing economy is weakening, while it's a sign of growth when it tops 50.

The November improvement was broad-based, with production rebounding from an October slump to hit a 13-month high. The flow of new orders grew for the third straight month, while hiring also improved for the third month in a row.

On the downside, commodity prices jumped, while inventories shrunk for the 15th time in the last 16 months.

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