The seasonally adjusted Milwaukee Report on Business climbed to 47.14 in September from 42.92 in August, the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee reported Friday.

New orders received grew to 37.90 from 35.47, production rose to 41.76 from 34.41, employment increased to 56.61 from 50.10, supplier deliveries gained to 53.79 from 42.72, and backlog of orders spiked to 42.50 from 32.00.

Inventory levels declined to 45.65 from 51.92, customers' inventories gained to 52.77 from 45.45, prices grew to 52.17 from 48.08, exports increased to 52.94 from 42.11 and imports rose to 44.44 from 39.47.

The blue collar diffusion index decreased to 47.6 from 51.5, while the white collar diffusion index rose to 58.9 from 51.5.

Respondents' comments included:

--Domestic business remains a slow, steady challenge.

--There's been no significant announcements of cost increases. Most everything is status quo, at this point.

--Blue-collar employment: quality of applicants is poor.

--Oil & gas industry new orders have fallen to a trickle ... anyone with a large financial commitment will not commit until after the election.

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