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News : US Economy Last Updated: Jan 3, 2012 - 4:47 PM


US manufacturing sector expanded in December; Spending on construction projects in the US climbed during November
By Finfacts Team
Jan 3, 2012 - 4:45 PM

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Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded in December for the 29th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 31st consecutive month, America's supply executives said in in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. Separately, spending on construction projects in the US climbed during November more than expected as builders try to make progress amid a sluggish economy.

Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee commented: today. "The PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index)  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.

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%. 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."

Performance by Industry

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, nine are reporting 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.

Construction

Construction spending rose by 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $807.11bn, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The broad-based rise included gains in residential and nonresidential spending.

The 1.2% jump in was much better than expected.  However, spending in October was revised sharply down, to a drop of 0.2% from an originally estimated gain of 0.8%. And for the year, construction spending was up just 0.5% compared with November 2010.

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