ISM ROB: Economic activity in manufacturing sector expanded in January, but at slowest pace in 8 months

February 3, 2014

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the eighth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 56th consecutive month, said the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business®. However, the manufacturing expansion rate was the slowest in eight months as the pace of new orders decelerated sharply.

The report was issued Feb. 3 by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute of Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The January PMI® registered 51.3 percent, a decrease of 5.2 percentage points from December's seasonally adjusted reading of 56.5 percent. The New Orders Index registered 51.2 percent, a significant decrease of 13.2 percentage points from December's seasonally adjusted reading of 64.4 percent. The Production Index registered 54.8 percent, a decrease of 6.9 percentage points compared to December's seasonally adjusted reading of 61.7 percent. Inventories of raw materials decreased by 3 percentage points to 44 percent, its lowest reading since December 2012 when the Inventories Index registered 43 percent. A number of comments from the panel cite adverse weather conditions as a factor negatively impacting their businesses in January, while others reflect optimism and increasing volumes in the early stages of 2014."

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth in January in the following order: Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Textile Mills; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Furniture & Related Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The seven industries reported contraction in January — listed in order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; Paper Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.

The full report can be found here.