The outlook for the manufacturing sector is improving, per the quarterly Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Survey on the Business Outlook for September. The September 2009 composite index rose to 38 from a near-record low of 24 in June. "The rise in the composite index and the individual indexes, most of which reached record lows in the first or second quarters of 2009, point to the start of a recovery in the manufacturing sector," said Donald A. Norman, Ph.D., MAPI Economist and survey coordinator. "While many of the individual indexes remain at very low levels, the forward-looking indexes, like that for annual orders, are at much higher levels, indicating that manufacturing activity is expected to increase in 2010."

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