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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

ISM: Factory Sector Contracts in December

by Calculated Risk on 1/02/2008 10:46:00 AM

From MarketWatch: Factory sector shrinking in December, ISM says

The U.S. factory sector contracted in December for the first time in nearly a year as new orders collapsed, the Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday.

The ISM index fell to 47.7% from 50.8% in November. It's the lowest reading since April 2003 and the first sub-50 reading since January 2007.
The new-orders index fell to 45.7% from 52.6%, the lowest since October 2001, as the nation was pulling out of the last recession. Just 15% of firms reported rising orders; the percentage has been lower only once in the past 25 years.

"Slower demand appears to be more of a problem than excessive inventories," said Norbert Ore, chairman of the ISM's survey committee.
Manufacturing (especially export related) and commercial real estate were two of the bright spots for the economy in 2007. Both are showing signs of slowing sharply.