US manufacturing expands for fifth month in December

04 January 2010 16:36  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US manufacturing sector expanded in December for the fifth consecutive month, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday, indicating that a recovery in the nation’s key production industries is gathering speed.

The institute said that its closely watched purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 55.9 in December, the highest reading since April 2006 when the PMI was at 56.

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

The PMI has seen general improvement over the last 12 months, rising almost every month from the December 2008 low point of 32.9%. In August 2009 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 survey committee, said that the continuing gain in the purchasing managers index for December indicates that “overall, the recovery in manufacturing is continuing”.

That evaluation more or less matches other recent positive measures, including the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators and recent improvements in consumer spending.

However, he noted that not all elements of the broad US manufacturing sector are experiencing the same rates of growth, and some are seeing dips in activity.

The institute reported that chemical products and plastics were two among seven manufacturing sectors that experienced little or no growth in December. However, chemicals production had seen gains in the November PMI report.

Among the nine manufacturing sectors reporting growth in December were several that are crucial downstream industrial consumers of chemicals, including apparel, computers, machinery production, electrical equipment, appliances, paper products, foods and beverages, furniture and transportation equipment.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in
Chemicals and the Economy


By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index

Related Articles