U.S. manufacturing inches up in November

The U.S. manufacturing sector activity index inched up in November, signaling a modest increase in activity as the year comes to a close.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM, Tempe, Ariz., USA) on Dec. 1 reported that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in November 2011 for the 28th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 30th consecutive month. ISM's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 52.7 percent, following an October value of 50.8 percent. A reading of more than 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; less than 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

The report was issued by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The PMI registered 52.7 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from October’s reading of 50.8 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 28th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased 4.3 percentage points from October to 56.7 percent, reflecting the second month of growth after three months of contraction. While the Prices Index, at 45 percent, increased 4 percentage points from the October reading of 41 percent, prices of raw materials continued to decrease (registering below 50 percent) for the second consecutive month. 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.” 

12-month ISM Manufacturing Index history (percent):

  • November 2011: 52.7
  • October 2011: 50.8
  • September 2011: 51.6
  • August 2011: 50.6
  • July 2011: 50.9
  • June 2011: 55.3
  • May 2011: 53.5
  • April 2011: 60.4
  • March 2011: 61.2
  • February 2011: 61.4
  • January 2011: 60.8
  • December 2010: 57.0