Manufacturing sector remains sluggish at start of new year


Overall, January 2016 remained in "contracting" territory, according to the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Manufacturing Report on Business. However, there are a few signs of improvement mixed in with continued contraction in some areas. The January Purchasing Management Index (PMI) ticked up 0.2% to 48.2% from the December 2015 PMI of 48%, but that is still below the benchmark of 50.

The New Orders Index jumped into the growth area, up 2.7% to 51.5% for January. Production also moved onto the "growing" side of the benchmark to 50.2, up 0.3% from December's 49.9. The Employment Index dropped further from December's 48%, falling in January to 45.9%.

Supplier deliveries are virtually unchanged at 50 in January from December's 49.8%. Inventories remained unchanged in the "contracting" mode at 43.5%. Customer Inventories also remained steady but too high at 51.5%.
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