Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the 29th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 31st consecutive month, said the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
The PMI registered 53.9%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from November’s reading of 52.7%, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 29th consecutive month, according to Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.
“Manufacturing is finishing out the year on a positive note, with new orders, production and employment all growing in December at faster rates than in November, and with an optimistic view toward the beginning of 2012 as reflected by the panel in this month’s survey,” Holcomb said.
The New Orders Index increased 0.9 percentage point from November to 57.6%, reflecting the third consecutive month of growth after three months of contraction. Prices of raw materials continued to decrease for the third consecutive month, with the Prices Index registering 47.5%, which is 2.5 percentage points higher than the November reading of 45%.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, nine reported growth in December, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Primary Metals; and Paper Products.
The nine industries reporting contraction in December – listed in order – are: Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Furniture & Related Products; Chemical Products; Wood Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.
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