ISM manufacturing index rises in December

January 2, 2013


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Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew very slightly in December, according to the Institue for Supply Management’s composite index. The index, known as the PMI, rose 1.2 points from November to 50.7%, which is just above the 50% threshold between contraction and expansion. It was only the third time in the last seven months that the PMI showed expansion.

The new orders undex — an indicator of near-term shipment activity — was unchanged at 50.3%. The production index, which mirrors current freight activity, was down 1.1 points to 52.6% — still growing but at a slower rate than November.

“Comments from the panel this month are mixed, with some indicating a strengthening of demand and others indicating a continuing softness in demand,” says Bradley Holcomb, chairman of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Additionally, many respondents express uncertainty about government regulations, taxes and global economics in general as we approach 2013.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, seven reported growth in December: Furniture and related products; paper products; petroleum and coal products; wood products; primary metals; computer and electronic products; and food, beverage and tobacco products.

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