Institute for Supply Management: Manufacturing Expands for Seventh Consecutive Month

January 14, 2014

In its most recent Report on Business®, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded again in December, its seventh consecutive month of growth.

The benchmark Purchasing Managers Index (PMITM) stood at 57.0 for the month of December, just 0.3% behind November’s 57.3 and the second-highest reading for the year.  The overall economy also improved yet again, registering its 55th consecutive month of expansion.  Any reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is expanding.

“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,” said Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the ISM.

The monthly ISM assessment is based on benchmarks for ten key indices, five of which expanded in December. Customers’ Inventories (+2.5), Supplier Deliveries (+1.5), and Prices (+1.0) were among the leaders.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed as part of the PMI calculation, 13 reported growth in December.  These included Plastics & Rubber Products, Transportation Equipment, and Fabricated Metal Products, among others.

“The sustained growth through the second half of 2013 offered evidence of meaningful strength in the manufacturing sector,” says Sylvia Wower, DVIRC’s Director of Market and Economic Research. “It appears that the follow-on budget crisis has been averted for the time being, and U.S. manufacturers are continuing to grow while PMI in China falters.  I think small and middle-market companies in the region and around the country are sitting atop some solid fundamentals.”

Each month, ISM publishes the PMITM, which is based on surveys of private-sector enterprises. Read the full ISM report here.