According to the January 2015 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, economic activity in the United States' manufacturing sector expanded for the 20th straight month in January of 2015. The overall economy grew for the 68th straight month during the same period of time.
The report, which was issued by Bradley J. Holcomb of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, indicated that the January PMI registered at 53.5 percent. This represented a decrease of 1.6 percentage points over the same number from December of 2014. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the December number was seasonally adjusted at 55.1 percent.
The New Orders Index came in at 52.9 percent during January, which itself was a decrease of 4.9 percentage points from the 57.8 December reading. The Production Index came in at 56.5 percent, which was a decrease of 1.2 percentage points below that December reading. The Employment Index also came in at 54.1 percent during January, which was a decrease from the December number of 56 percent by 1.9 percentage points.
Respondents to the survey indicated that these numbers represent strong consumer demand that is continuing to grow on a daily basis. Representatives from the fabricated metal products industry indicated that customers are presenting a wide range of new opportunities that are just waiting to be taken advantage of. Transportation equipment respondents also indicated that consumer demand remains strong for those in and around the automotive industry, especially when it comes to customers who are currently seeking attractive alternatives to help them maximize production within their existing production capacity.
Out of the 18 different manufacturing industries in the United States, 14 reported growth from the period ending in January 2015. These included but were not limited to wood products, miscellaneous manufacturing, electrical equipment, machinery, food, beverage and tobacco products, paper products, printing and related support activities, chemical products and more.
The only two industries that reported contractions during the January period were textile mills and companies representing the nonmetallic mineral products industry. Dock problems in California that delayed shipments may have contributed to these contractions.
Read the full report here: January 2015 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®