United States: ISM manufacturing index increases robustly in December
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index rose to 60.7 in December from 57.5 in November, beating market expectations of 56.6 and representing the highest level since August 2018. Therefore, the index remained well above the 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector.
December’s increase was the result of stronger growth in new orders and production, while employment levels increased relative to the previous month. Moreover, backlogs of work increased in December, while new export orders rose at a softer pace. On the price front, input prices rose on the back of higher raw material prices.
Commenting on the state of the manufacturing sector with regard to December’s print, analysts at Goldman Sachs noted:
“The composition of the report was strong, with improvement in the production, new orders, and employment components. Following this morning’s data, our preliminary December Current Activity Indicator stands at -0.4% (vs. +2.2% in November).”