Economic activity in the 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®.
… “The PMI™ registered 57 percent, the second highest reading for the year, just 0.3 percentage point below November’s reading of 57.3 percent. The New Orders Index increased in December by 0.6 percentage point to 64.2 percent, which is its highest reading since April 2010 when it registered 65.1 percent. The Employment Index registered 56.9 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage point compared to November’s reading of 56.5 percent. December’s employment reading is the highest since June 2011 when the Employment Index registered 59 percent. 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 …
This basically matches expectations (e.g., 57.0% at Business Insider).
New Orders and Production were really strong. Backlog of Orders dropped to 51.5% from 54.0%, which in context isn’t really that troubling.
This is a strong report. Whether it really reflects the underlying reality in this economy is more than a little debatable.