Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in December, according to the latest Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management. The report's PMI composite index rose 1.2 percentage points to 53.9 percent compared to November.
The PMI is a composite of seasonally adjusted diffusion indexes for new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories weighted evenly.
New orders, production, employment, and imports and exports all grew in December, making it the 29th consecutive month of growth for the manufacturing industry. The report showed the overall economy growing for the 31 straight months, as well.
The New Orders Index increased 0.9 percentage points from November to 57.6 percent, reflecting the third consecutive month of growth after three months of contraction. Prices of raw materials continued to decrease for the third consecutive month, with the Prices Index registering 47.5 percent, which is 2.5 percentage points higher than the November reading of 45 percent.