Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Manufacturing Continues to Expand, but at Slower Pace

Marketwatch details:

U.S. manufacturing firms said business improved in November for the fourth straight month, but at a slower pace than in October, the Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday.

The ISM manufacturing index fell to 53.6% from 55.7% in October. Readings over 50% indicate more firms said they were growing than said they were contracting.

In November, 12 of 18 industries were expanding. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were looking for the index to pull back to 55% in November. See our complete economic forecast and calendar of events.

"While the rate of growth slowed when compared to October, the signs are still encouraging for continuing growth as both new orders and production are still at very positive levels, and the prices index fell 10 points, signaling less inflationary pressure on manufacturers' costs," said Norbert Ore, head of the ISM's survey committee.

"Overall, the recovery in manufacturing is continuing, but many are still struggling based on their comments."

Continued growth is the good news, but concerns for me are the slower pace of the employment rebound and continued slump with inventories (i.e. no inventory rebound as of yet).

Source: ISM

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