U.S. manufacturing still in positive territory

Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers Index registers 57.0 percent for December 2010, the 17th straight month of expansion.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM, Tempe, Ariz., USA) on Jan. 3 reported that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in December 2010 for the 17th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 20th consecutive month. ISM's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 57.0 percent, following a November value of 56.6 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

The report was issued by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The manufacturing sector continued its growth trend as indicated by this month’s report. We saw significant recovery for much of the U.S. manufacturing sector in 2010. The recovery centered on strength in autos, metals, food, machinery, computers and electronics, while those industries tied primarily to housing continue to struggle. Additionally, manufacturers that export have benefitted from both global demand and the weaker dollar. December’s strong readings in new orders and production, combined with positive comments from the panel, should create momentum as we go into the first quarter of 2011.” 

12-month ISM Manufacturing Index history (percent):

  • December 2010: 57.0
  • November 2010: 56.6
  • October 2010: 56.9
  • September 2010: 54.4
  • August 2010: 56.3
  • July 2010: 55.5
  • June 2010: 56.2
  • May 2010: 59.7
  • April 2010: 60.4
  • March 2010: 59.6
  • February 2010: 56.5
  • January 2010: 58.4