Manufacturing economic activity contracted yet again in December according to the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®. This marks the 14th consecutive month of contraction. The Manufacturing PMI® for the month was 47.4%, a 0.7 percentage point increase from November.
Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said that companies continue to manage outputs appropriately amid ongoing order softness. “Demand remains soft, and production execution is stable compared to November, as panelists’ companies continue to manage outputs, material inputs, and labor costs.”
The food, beverage, and tobacco industry held steady in December, reporting neither growth nor contraction. The industry reported growth in production during the month, alongside a decrease in employment, slower supplier deliveries, and lower inventories.
One industry respondent remarked, “Commodity costs are decreasing. Supply is readily available, and customers are still ordering to last year’s volumes.”