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News : US Economy Last Updated: Jan 2, 2014 - 3:54 PM


US manufacturing remained strong in December
By Finfacts Team
Jan 2, 2014 - 3:52 PM

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Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 55th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. In a separate PMI (purchasing managers' index) survey from Markit, the UK markets data firm, business conditions in the US manufacturing sector improved at the fastest rate since January. According to the final December Markit US Manufacturing PMI index, at 55.0, up from 54.7 in November and above the earlier flash estimate of 54.4, the PMI indicated a solid rate of expansion.

Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said: "The PMI registered 57%, the second highest reading for the year, just 0.3 percentage point below November's reading of 57.3%. The New Orders Index increased in December by 0.6 percentage point to 64.2%, which is its highest reading since April 2010 when it registered 65.1%.

The Employment Index registered 56.9%, an increase of 0.4 percentage point compared to November's reading of 56.5%. December's employment reading is the highest since June 2011 when the Employment Index registered 59%. Comments from the panel generally reflect a solid final month of the year, capping off the second half of 2013, which was characterized by continuous growth and momentum in manufacturing."

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 13 are reporting growth in December in the following order: Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The four industries reporting contraction in December are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Machinery; Chemical Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Markit said its PMI averaged 53.8 in the three months to December and, above the average for the three months to September of 53.2, was the highest since the first three months of the year. Production in the manufacturing sector continued to rise strongly in December. The rate of growth was well above the series average and the fastest since March 2012.

All three market groups (consumer, intermediate and investment) posted higher levels of output in December, with manufacturers of investment goods posting the fastest rate of increase.

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