US manufacturing resumes growth in December

02 January 2013 16:59  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US manufacturing sector resumed growing in December, a key production survey report said on Wednesday, although chemical and plastics producers continued to show contraction.

In its monthly report on the nation's manufacturing sector, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said that its closely watched purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 50.7% in December from November's reading of 49.5%.

December's expansion in manufacturing follows a two-month gain in September and October and the three-month slump in June, July and August when the index was below 50%.

The purchasing managers index is a composite of supplier responses to the institute’s survey on 10 different business performance measures in 18 major manufacturing industries.

A PMI reading at or above 50% indicates that the nation’s crucial manufacturing sector is expanding.

Comments for December's survey were mixed, with some respondents indicating a rise in demand, while others noted continuing weakness, the ISM said. Many expressed uncertainty about US regulations and taxes as well as the overall world economy.

An unidentified chemicals industry executive was quoted as saying that “uncertainty in additional government regulations and tax climate seems to be slowing orders”.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Al Greenwood
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