Bloomberg News (1/4, Willis) reports, “US factories expanded in December at the fastest pace in six months, adding to evidence manufacturing is improving from India to the UK entering 2012. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 53.9 last month from 52.7 in November,” ISM’s data showed.
BBC News (1/4) reports, “It was the 29th month in a row that the sector has grown and the latest in a run of positive indicators from the US.”
The AP (1/4, Rugaber) reports, “In the US, factories hired more workers in December, saw the most growth in new orders since April and ramped up production.”
On its website, CNBC (1/4, Domm) reports, “The employment component rose to 55.1 from 51.8 in November, the highest since June. ‘Manufacturing might be a kind of small part of the employment picture, but it’s consistent with some of the other indicators which should show it (December employment) to be a good report,'” J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune (1/4, Buchta) reports Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM’s survey committee, “said that with new orders up and prices of raw materials down, ‘manufacturing is finishing out the year on a positive note.'”
CNNMoney (1/4, Isidore) reports, “The ISM survey also found new orders and the backlog of orders growing from November levels. Both are relatively recent turnarounds compared to the longer-term growth in the overall reading.” However, some “economists said it’s important not to read to much into the end of the year strength. Some of it may have been from businesses scrambling to make big ticket purchases before losing a tax break at the end of the year to write off the cost of that investment more quickly.”
Manufacturing Conditions In Canada Improve In December. Canada’s Postmedia News (1/4, Morrissy) reports, “Manufacturing conditions improved in December as production and new orders both rose strongly, RBC’s monthly Purchasing Managers Index showed Tuesday. The composite indicator, intended to provide an early indicator of trends in the manufacturing sector and conducted in association with financial information services company Markit, posted a reading of 54 in December, up from 53.3 in November.” Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at RBC Economics said, “The RBC PMI indicates that Canadian manufacturing activity not only continues to expand but also that the pace of activity strengthened relative to slowing growth in both November and October. This bounce back in part reflects increased foreign demand despite indications of the eurozone likely falling into recession and still modest growth in the US.”
Reuters (1/4, Sibonney) also covers the story.
From SME Daily Executive Briefing 1.4.2012