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Local manufacturing jumped in November

After a weak October, local manufacturers saw business improve during November, a survey of local purchasing managers found.

The November rebound continued the see-saw pattern of growth and decline that has characterized the local manufacturing sector since the summer.

“Things are looking pretty lackluster on the state and national level, but we bounced back some in November, showing expansion,” said Jay K. Walker, the Niagara University economist who compiles the report. “I’m worried that we might get caught back up into the prevailing weakness in manufacturing, but November wasn’t a bad month locally.”

The Institute of Supply Management – Buffalo’s business activity index rose to 58.7 during November – a level that indicates an expanding economy – compared with 46.7 in October. The monthly index has been alternating between growth and decline since July, roughly corresponding with a similar period in which the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has shown four straight months of decline.

The local purchasing managers, however, indicated that November was a solid month by almost all measures. Production, new orders and employment all increased last month, while commodity prices declined as energy costs dropped, Walker said.