US manufacturing hardly grew in January

01 February 2008 19:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A closely watched gauge of US manufacturing activity shows that the sector hardly grew in January, resuming a months-long trend of little growth, according to statistics released on Friday.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) reached 50.7% in January, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a group that keeps track of the statistic. Anything above 50 indicates growth.

"This represents a return to the recent trend of slow growth in manufacturing, as the PMI has averaged 50.2 percent for the past six months," according to a statement issued by Norbert Ore, chairman of the institute's manufacturing business survey committee.

January's index was up from December's, which was 48.4%. Manufacturing activity shrank that month.

"The PMI was driven by the production index, which made a rebound of 6.6 percentage points during the month, while the new-orders index reflected a slight decline at 49.5 percent," Ore said in his statement.

The PMI is compiled from a survey of manufacturing supply managers across the country and combines data on new orders, production, inventories, employment and prices, among other indicators.

One survey respondent, representing chemical products, told the institute that his company was squeezed between supplier pressures to raise prices and customer pressures to reduce them.

Chemical products were one of the eight industries that reported growth in January. Others include food, apparel, electrical equipment, appliances, primary metals and miscellaneous manufacturing.

Industries reporting contraction include non-metallic minerals, printing, textile mills, wood products, furniture, fabricated metal, plastics and rubber products, computers and electronics and transportation equipment.

The following table lists the PMI for recent months:

Jan 08

Dec 07

Nov 07

Oct 07

50.7

48.4

50.0

50.4

source: ISM


By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645



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