Report shows economic growth for December

4 January 2010-- The Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Report on Business shows more expansion in economic activity in December and overall economic growth for an eighth consecutive month.

The purchaser's manufacturing index (PMI) registered 55.9 percent, a 2.3 percentage point increase from November and the fifth consecutive month of growth in the manufacturing sector. The report said any PMI in excess of 41.2 percent over a period of time indicated an expanding economy. A reading above 50 percent indicates an economic expansion, while a reading below 50 percent indicates a contraction.

The petroleum and coal sector reported the second highest growth out of nine industries. Natural gas reported a drop in growth.

For December, the Production Index registered 61.8 percent, up from November's index of 59.9 percent. It was the seventh consecutive month that the Production Index had registered above 50 percent.

ISM's Employment Index registered 52 percent in December. This was 1.2 percentage points higher than the 50.8 percent in November. It also was the third straight month of growth in manufacturing employment after 14 months of decline. An Employment Index above 49.7 percent is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on manufacturing employment. Petroleum and coal products had the third highest employment growth out of seven sectors. Those sectors, however, had the slowest supplier deliveries in December. Overall, supplier delivery performances were 56.6 percent, slightly higher than November's 55.7 percent.

The petroleum and coal industry also reported paying higher prices for materials, having higher inventories and recording fewer imports for December.
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