PhotoThe overall economy, including activity in the manufacturing sector, expanded in December, according to the nation’s supply executives.

The Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Management Index (PMI) rose 1.5% from November to register 54.7% last month.

A reading above 50% indicates growth, while anything below that mark suggests contraction.

According to the report, the New Orders Index jumped 7.2% to 60.2%, the Production Index came in at 60.3%, up 4.3% from November, and the Employment Index inched up 0.8% to 53.1%.

Inventories of raw materials dipped 2.0% to 47.0%, while the Prices Index shot up 11.0% to 65.5%, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 10th consecutive month.

The December readings for the PMI, New Orders, Production, and Employment Indexes were the highest of the year, while the overall economy expanded for the 91st consecutive month.

Industry performance

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth in December:

  1. Petroleum & Coal Products;
  2. Primary Metals;
  3. Miscellaneous Manufacturing;
  4. Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products;
  5. Apparel, Leather & Allied Products;
  6. Paper Products;
  7. Machinery;
  8. Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components;
  9. Computer & Electronic Products;
  10. Fabricated Metal Products;
  11. and Chemical Products.

Six industries reported contraction:

  1. Plastics & Rubber Products;
  2. Furniture & Related Products;
  3. Printing & Related Support Activities;
  4. Textile Mills;
  5. Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and
  6. Transportation Equipment.

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