Manufacturing Activity Expands, Transport Equipment Reports Growth

According to the Institute for Supply Management, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November, and the overall economy grew for the 102nd consecutive month.

With a PMI reading of 58.2% in November, the index decreased 0.5 percentage points from October’s mark. New orders increased, with the index coming in at 64%, which was up 0.6% from October. The production index also increased in November, up to 63.9% from October’s reading of 61%.

Meanwhile, the rest of the indices decreased. The employment index did not experience much of a fall, dropping just 0.1% to 59.7%. The supplier deliveries index fell 4.9% to 56.5%, the inventories index fell 1% to 47% and the prices index fell 3% to 65.5%. The last of these readings still means that prices for raw materials rose for the 21st-straight month.

“Comments from the panel reflect expanding business conditions, with new orders and production leading gains, employment expanding at a slower rate, order backlogs stable and expanding, and export orders all continuing to grow in November,” said Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Supplier deliveries continued to slow (improving), but at slower rates, and inventories continued to contract during the period. Price increases continued, but at a slower rate. The customers’ inventories index improved but remains at low levels.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth in November, including machinery, transportation equipment and primary metals. Two industries reported contraction during the period: wood products and petroleum/coal products.

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