Manufacturers still treading water, ISM survey shows: ‘Demand remains soft.’

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The numbers: A barometer of business conditions at American factories was negative in November for the 13th month in a row, indicating little improvement in the industrial side of the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing survey was unchanged at 46.7% last month. Numbers below 50% signal contraction.

The index has been negative for more than a year. The last time that happened was during the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast the index to register 47.7%.

Key details:

  • The index of new orders rose 2.8 points to 48.3%.

  • The production barometer fell 1.9 points to 48.5%

  • The employment gauge slipped 1 point to 45.8%.

  • The prices index, a measure of inflation, rose 4.8 points 49.9%.

Big picture: The industrial side of the economy has shown signs of bottoming out, but conditions are likely to remain weak as long as interest rates stay high. High rates discourage consumer purchases of big-ticket items such as cars and curtail business investment.

Heavy industry represents about 10% of gross domestic product.

Looking ahead: “Demand remains soft,” survey Chairman Timothy Fiore said.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.51%
and S&P 500
SPX,
+0.41%
rose in Friday trades.

Source
Las Vegas News Magazine

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