Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity improved in January with assessments of most measures increasing.
At 54.1 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) increased 1.88% since December but remained 11.02% below the level seen a year earlier.
Respondents indicated that prices are generally stable and show an overall positive outlook for 2012:
"Still seeing raw materials pricing moving down in general, but expect inflation later in the quarter." (Chemical Products)
"Year starting a little slow, but customers are positive about increased business in 2012." (Machinery)
"Once again, business continues to be strong." (Paper Products)
"Pricing remains in check with the demand we are seeing. Supplier deliveries are on time or early." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
"The economy seems to be slowly improving." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Business lost to offshore is coming back." (Computer & Electronic Products)
"Business remains strong. Order intake is great — more than 20 percent above budget." (Primary Metals)
"Indications are that 2012 business environment will improve over 2011." (Transportation Equipment)
"Market conditions appear to be improving, with the outlook for 2012 better yet." (Wood Products