Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity improved in December with assessments of most measures increasing.
At 53.9 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) increased 2.28% since November but remained 7.86% below the level seen a year earlier.
Respondents indicated mixed assessments with some suggesting strong demand while others see activity slowing:
"Slow Q4 — lots of destocking and inventory reduction going on." (Chemical Products)
"Business seems strong, but likely due to tax advantages of purchasing capital expense items." (Machinery)
"Our business is stable with a very good outlook for 2012." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
"Food prices seem to have peaked as demand is starting to wane." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
"All auto demand remains strong." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Continued conservative hiring, with tight discretionary spending controls due to slower growth expectations for 2012, driven by Euro zone sovereign debt concerns and lack of viable U.S. legislative process through the 2012 election." (Computer & Electronic Products)
"Business beginning to slow down (seasonal), but will finish with a very strong year." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
"Business is steady today around the world." (Transportation Equipment)
"Market has definitely slowed in the last month, and is expected to remain so this month." (Wood Products)