ISM Says Manufacturing Activity Expanded in December

ISM Says Manufacturing Activity Expanded in December

Jan 5, 2015

By Bill Koenig, Manufacturing Engineering

Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector rose in December for the 19th consecutive month, the Institute for Supply Management said today in a monthly report.

However, the rate of growth has slowed. The December PMI was 55.5%, down from 58.7% in November. The December figure was the lowest since June’s 55.3%. 

A PMI level above 50% generally shows economic activity in manufacturing is expanding, while a PMI level below 50% indicates it is contracting. The lowest PMI for 2014 was 51.3% in January and the highest was 59% in August. The 12-month average was 55.8%

The total US economy expanded for the 67th straight month, Tempe, AZ-based ISM said in its Report on Business, which is based on information compiled from purchasing and supply executives across the United States.

The institute said 11 of 18 manufacturing sectors reported growth in December, including printing, fabricated metal products, primary metals, furniture and miscellaneous manufacturing. Six sectors reported contraction, including plastics and rubber products, machinery, wood products and chemical products.

The group also said its new orders index slid to 57.3% in December from 66% in November. It was still the 19th straight month for growth in new orders. 

Nine industries reported growth in such orders, including primary metals, fabricated metal products and miscellaneous manufacturing. Six industries had declines in new orders, including wood products, plastic and rubber products and machinery.

The institute’s prices index registered at 38.5% in December, down from 44.5% the month before, reflecting lower raw material prices. 

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