Wednesday, February 1, 2012

U.S. Manufacturing Continues to Improve

The manufacturing sector continues to expand as the ISM manufacturing index rose from 53.1 to 54.1 in January. This marks the third improvement in the index and leaves it at its highest level since June. The index has now remained above its expansionary threshold for 30 straight months.

The improvement was driven primarily by an increase in new orders, with the index rising 2.8 points to 57.6. Surprisingly, export orders improved in January, despite turmoil in Europe. The production index fell slightly to 55.7, but remained well in expansionary territory. The employment index also dropped slightly, falling from 55.1 to 54.3. Inventories improved in January, but remained the only contractionary sector, with a reading of 49.5. Inventories have now contracted for four consecutive months.

Read the report.

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