Quality Magazine

ISM: Manufacturing Sector Fails to Grow

December 1, 2008

TEMPE, AZ, December 1-Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in November for the fourth consecutive month, and the overall economy contracted for the second consecutive month, says the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business, issued by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

"When comparing November to October, the PMI indicates a continuing rapid rate of contraction in manufacturing,” says Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “New orders have contracted for 12 consecutive months, and are at the lowest level since June 1980 when the index registered 24.2%. Order backlogs have fallen to the lowest level since ISM began tracking the Backlog of Orders Index in January 1993. The Prices Index at 25.5% indicates that commodity prices continue to decline at a rapid rate. This is the lowest reading for the index since May 1949 when it registered 20.1%."

The two industries reporting growth in November-listed in order-are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Paper Products. The industries reporting contraction in November are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Textile Mills; Printing & Related Support Activities; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Wood Products.