Manufacturing sector continues to grow

Updated Jan 10, 2010

Fetzer inside

The manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy grew for the fourth consecutive month in November, although the growth was slower than in October, the Institute of Supply Management reported today, Dec. 1. ISM’s closely watched PMI stood at 53.6 percent in October – down from an index level of 55.7 in October.

Despite the slower growth, the PMI suggests continued strength in a manufacturing sector that had been in decline for about two years prior to August. Moreover, the new orders component of the PMI grew for the fifth consecutive month and at a faster rate in November than in October. New orders are considered a stronger indicator of future production volumes and, therefore, trucking activity.

Another indicator of future trucking activity – and of the lingering slump in freight volumes — is the continued decline in inventories. ISM reported that inventories dropped for the 43rd consecutive month in November.

ISM’s monthly report is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide.