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Reply #14: U.S. manufacturing lightly accelerates: ISM [View All]

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. U.S. manufacturing lightly accelerates: ISM

The U.S. manufacturing sector saw a modest acceleration in November as production and new orders picked up, according to a key gauge released Thursday. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index rose to 52.7% in November from 50.8% in October, which beat a MarketWatch-compiled economist forecast of 52.0%. Any reading above 50% indicates expansion, and the ISM gauge has been above that threshold for 28 straight months.

The new orders gauge rose 4.3 points to 56.7%, and the production gauge jumped 6.5 points to 56.6%. Business is still holding its own, said one purchasing manager in the chemical products industry. Another in electrical equipment said orders for the remaining two months have increased after an extended summer dip. Respondents cite continuing concerns about the general economic environment, government regulations and European financial conditions, but are cautiously more optimistic about the next few months based on lower raw materials pricing and favorable levels of new orders, said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the ISM, in a statement.

Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, said the ISM data shows stronger growth than the broader economy, but he noted that sector has only recovered a bit over half of its loss from the recession. And there were worrying features as well: the employment gauge slowed 1.7 points to 51.8%, and supplier deliveries fell 1.4 points to 49.9%. The Labor Department is due to release its monthly employment report on Friday...Of the 18 industries measured, 9 reported contraction while 8 advanced.

Similar gauges from across the globe show the U.S. isnt likely to get too much help from abroad. The two purchasing managers indexes measuring Chinese manufacturing both were below the 50% line. Australia, Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom also registered sub-50% readings, and Indias and Turkeys gauge showed slowing expansion, according to data from Markit.(The rare bit of good news came from Russia, which rose to 52.6% from 50.4%.)
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