US factory activity surges last month to highest since 2004

U.S. manufacturing activity shrugged off a series of hurricanes and rose to the highest level in 13 years last month.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index rose to 60.8 from 58.8 in August, the highest reading since May 2004. Anything above 50 signals that manufacturers are growing, and the ISM survey shows they've been on a 13-month winning streak.

New orders, production, hiring and new export orders all grew faster in September.

Seventeen of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth, led by textile mills and machinery. Only one industry — furniture manufacturing — contracted last month.

Some industries reported that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had disrupted supplies and driven up costs. But overall the manufacturing sector continues to look very strong.