Jan. 2 - The Institute for Supply Management index rose to 50.7 showing slight expansion in national factory activity, but still not a lot of life. Jeanne Yurman reports.
The Daily Digit today is 50.7. That's the level to which U.S. manufacturing expanded according to the Institute for Supply Management index in December. The good news is that it bounced back from a surprise contraction in the prior month, and is now in expansion territory once again. But, at 50.7, U.S. manufacturing, which produces nearly a fifth of the world's manufactured products, is not showing a lot of life. The Institute for Supply Management surveys more than 300 factories on categories ranging from new orders to employment to inventories. Any level at 50 or above shows growth in the sector. A level between 43 and 50 indicates growth in the U.S. economy, but contraction in manufacturing. Today's reading was well off the 54.1 seen a year ago, which suggests that manufacturing is still struggling to regain the momentum it had at the start of last year.