Manufacturing Still Declining, But Not As Fast
December 03, 2001
Manufacturing activity in the United States is still in a decline, but at least the drop is not as fast.
Monday morning the National Association of Purchasing Management reported its Purchasing Management Index rose from a 10-year low of 39.8 in October to 44.5 in November.
The number is still the 16th straight decline, but could also be an indication that this important trucking customer may soon be on the road to better days. Today’s number is better than the 41.7 some analysts were expecting. A reading above 50 indicates increasing manufacturing activity, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
NAPM also reported a 10.5-point increase in its New Orders Index, used to gauge future activity of the manufacturing sector. It increased to 48.8 for November. The Production Index also increased from 40.9 to 47.1, increasing hopes the economy may soon be headed for a recovery.
“The trend is definitely in the right direction, but it is too soon to claim an imminent recovery,” said officials with NAPM, but they did note the manufacturing sector has regained a significant portion of the output it lost in October. They predict manufacturing could return to growth in the second quarter of next year.