Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the 29th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 31st consecutive month, according to the nation's supply executives in the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management.
December marked a six-month high for manufacturing, according to the report.
“The PMI registered 53.9 percent, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from November's reading of 52.7 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 29th consecutive month,” according to Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; a reading below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
“Manufacturing is finishing out the year on a positive note, with new orders, production and employment all growing in December at faster rates than in November, and with an optimistic view toward the beginning of 2012 as reflected by the panel in this month's survey,” Holcomb added. "The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through December (55.3 percent) corresponds to a 4.5 percent increase in real gross domestic product. In addition, if the PMI for December is annualized, it corresponds to a 4 percent increase in real GDP annually.”