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Manufacturing Activity Contracts

Manufacturing activity fell for the first time in a year and a half, according to the ISM® Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index® . NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray told us what it means and what to expect.

Activity falls: “Manufacturing activity contracted for the first time since May 2020, with [the index] dropping from 50.2 in October to 49.0 in November,” said Moutray.

  • “New orders (down from 49.2 to 47.2) contracted for the third straight month, with exports (up from 46.5 to 48.4) falling for the fourth consecutive month, albeit at a slower pace of decline in November.”
  • “Employment (down from 50.0 to 48.4) declined for the fifth time year to date, and production (down from 52.3 to 51.5) slowed down.”

Prices drop: “In addition, prices (down from 46.6 to 43.0) fell for the second straight month, decreasing at the fastest pace since May 2020,” said Moutray.

  • “The data continue to reflect progress on supply chain challenges, with supplier deliveries rising for the second straight month, a feat not seen since late 2015.”

Concerns rise: “Overall, manufacturing activity has weakened, with sentiment at post-pandemic lows, consistent with other surveys,” said Moutray. “Manufacturers remained challenged by supply chains, workforce shortages, soaring costs and economic and geopolitical uncertainties.”

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