According to information released via the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, manufacturing sector economic activity expanded in December 2014 for the 19th month in a row. The overall economy grew for the 67th month in a row during the same period of time.
The Report on Business was issued by Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management. He indicated that the December PMI came in at 55.5 percent, which was a decrease of the reading from November of 3.2 percentage points. The total New Order Index during December was at 57.3 percent, which itself was a decrease of almost nine percentage points over the November reading from 30 days prior.
While there are 18 different industries within the world of manufacturing, a full 11 of them reported growth throughout December 2014. Those industries included but were not limited to printing and related support activities, primary metals, food, petroleum and coal products, paper products, electrical equipment, food, beverage and tobacco products and more.
Food, beverage and tobacco products in general saw positive growth thanks largely to the holiday season, which was reported to be much improved over the same period from 2013. Transportation equipment also gained positive ground, thanks to successes in both the Class 8 Truck and RV businesses.
There were six total industries within manufacturing that reported a contraction within the month of December. They included plastics and rubber products, machinery, chemical products, wood products, nonmetallic mineral products and computer and electronic products. Many of these industries indicated that slowdowns and other issues with ports located on the West Coast were having a significant impact on day to day operations, particularly when it came to the deliveries of purchases of Asian origin. Primary metals, textile mills and machinery all cited this as a very strong concern.
Computer and electronic products indicated that while business itself had not yet slowed down in December, it was expected to due to issues with the associated energy market. The slow period was expected to last until the New Year before things picked back up again.
Read the full report here: December 2014 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®