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Friday, January 02, 2009

ISM Manufacturing Index: More Cliff Diving

by Calculated Risk on 1/02/2009 11:00:00 AM

From the WSJ: U.S. Factories Slumped in December

The U.S. factory sector closed out 2008 on a decidedly sour note, marking its weakest period of activity in nearly 30 years.

The Institute for Supply Management reported Friday that its manufacturing sector index came in at 32.4 during December, from 36.2 in November and 38.9 in October.
December's reading was the weakest since June 1980.
"The decline covers the full breadth of manufacturing industries, as none of the industries in the sector report growth at this time," said Norbert Ore, who leads the survey for the ISM. He added, "manufacturers are reducing inventories and shutting down capacity to offset the slower rate of activity."
In the report, the ISM said that the production index stood at 25.5, from 31.5. Meanwhile, the new orders index, which hints at future activity, was weak at 22.7, from 27.9. The ISM said that reading was the lowest since January 1948. Hiring contracted, with the employment index at 29.9, versus November's 34.2.
Another very weak report.