US manufacturing sees growth for fourth straight month in Nov

01 December 2009 19:27  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The broad US manufacturing sector experienced growth in November, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Tuesday, marking the fourth straight month of improvement and signalling a continuing recovery.

The institute said that its closely watched purchasing managers index (PMI) was at 53.6 in November.

While November’s PMI reading was lower than the October measure of 55.7, it still represents a gain in manufacturing activity, the institute noted.

A PMI reading of 50% or higher indicates that the manufacturing industry is in expansion. A reading below 50% means that the sector is contracting.

The PMI has seen general improvement over the last 11 months, rising almost every month from the December 2008 low point of 32.9%. In August it rose above the 50% mark for the first time in a year.

The index is based on a survey of purchasing managers in 18 key manufacturing industries, including chemicals and plastics, with questions on their new orders, production, employment and other measures.

The US manufacturing industry is a crucial downstream consuming sector for a wide variety of chemicals and plastics.

Norbert Ore, chairman of the institute’s manufacturing business survey committee, noted that while November’s rate of growth slowed compared with October, “the signs are still encouraging for continuing growth as both new orders and production are still at very positive levels”.

The chemicals products sector was among the 12 manufacturing industries reporting growth in November, the institute said.

However, manufacturers of plastics and rubber products reported continuing contraction in November along with four other sectors, including furniture, primary metals and wood products.

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