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U.S. manufacturing PMI contracts for 13 straight months amid slowing economy

Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in November for the 13th month in a row, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Friday.

The U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 46.7 percent in November, unchanged from the figure recorded in October. Any reading below 50 percent indicates the manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

“Companies are still managing outputs appropriately as order softness continues,” Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM’s manufacturing business survey committee, said in a statement, noting that demand eased.

The New Orders Index contracted but at a slower rate, the New Export Orders Index dropped further into contraction territory, and the Backlog of Orders Index fell below 40 percent (39.3 percent) to remain in strong contraction territory, Fiore noted.

The Prices Index registered 49.9 percent, up 4.8 percentage points compared to the reading in October. The Employment Index registered 45.8 percent, down 1 percentage point from that reported in October.

“Economy appears to be slowing dramatically. Customer orders are pushing out, and all efforts are being made to right-size inventory levels, both to mitigate carrying costs on pushed-out orders and to load up on inventory where costs are exploding, like cold-rolled steel,” said an executive from the industry of computer & electronic products.

“Starting to feel softening in the economy, with labor still a challenge to backfill critical roles. The 2024 forecast looks challenging, specially from a cost perspective,” said an executive from the industry of chemical products.




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