New Orders, Production Increases Power November Manufacturing Expansion

According to the latest data from the Institute for Supply Management, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November, and the overall economy grew for the 90th consecutive month.

The November PMI hit 53.2%, which marked a 1.3% increase from October’s reading. The new orders index also jumped in the month, climbing 0.9% to 53%. In addition, the production index and inventories of raw materials improved during the month, with the former rising 1.4% to 56% while the latter remained below the 50% threshold but improved 1.5% to 49%.

The employment index fell by 0.6% during November, hitting 52.3%, and the prices index remained the same at 54.5%, meaning higher raw material prices were experienced for the ninth consecutive month.

According to Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the ISM’s manufacturing business survey committee, “Comments from the panel cite increasing demand, some tightness in the labor market and plans to reduce inventory by the end of the year.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth in November, including miscellaneous manufacturing, petroleum/coal products and computer/electronic products.

The six industries reporting contraction in November were printing, wood products, apparel, electrical equipment, transportation equipment and furniture.

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