Manufacturing is up nationally, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday, citing its much-watched monthly report based on a survey of executives in procurement and supply-chain businesses.

The president of the Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia noted similar results based on his own survey - one that involves a couple of phone calls to the city's box manufacturers.

"They are almost a canary in the mine," Alliance president Stephen Jurash said Monday.

Boxes form the essence of the supply chain - all those goods need to be shipped in something, Jurash said.

The busier the box manufacturers are, the better the economy is doing, he said.

Philadelphia's box manufacturers "have had a very strong year," and regional manufacturers in general are doing relatively well, he added.

The ISM report combines several factors - new orders, employment, production, supplier deliveries, and inventory - in its PMI index. November's reading of 57.3 percent was the highest this year, and the level has risen each month since June.

Manufacturing grew in the region in November, but at a slower pace than October, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported Nov. 21, based on its survey of area businesses.

In November and October, more manufacturers said they had increases in new orders compared with those who said their new orders decreased. The third statistic is manufacturers who said they had the same amount of new orders month over month.

In October, 41 percent reported new orders, but in November, that dropped to 35 percent.