United States: Manufacturing activity accelerates in January
February 1, 2011
The ISM manufacturing index (PMI) increased from 58.5% in December to 60.8% in January. The figure surprised market analysts on the upside, as a flat reading had been anticipated. At the current level, the index points to an uninterrupted expansion in manufacturing activity since August 2009, thus confirming a slow but steady recovery in the sector. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing sector is expanding, while a reading below 50% is indicative of a contraction. The acceleration suggested by the January figure points to a strong first quarter for the industrial sector, with the new orders component registering the largest increase compared to the previous month.