Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the 19th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 67th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The December Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 55.5%, a decrease of 3.2% from November's reading of 58.7%, indicating a slower expansion.
The New Orders Index slowed considerably from 66.0% in November to 57.3 in December. Also showing a negative number is the Production Index, falling from 64.4% in November to 58.8% in December.
The Employment Index showed positive gain, rising to 56.8% in December from November's 54.9%. Supplier deliveries slowed, with an index of 59.3 in December from 56.8% in November. Inventories contracted 6.0% from 51.5 in November to 45.5 in December, while Customers' Inventories fell "too low" from "about right" at 50.0% in November to 44.5% in December.