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The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in December for the fifth consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
According to ISM, manufacturing activity declined at a rapid rate in December. The decline covers all industries, as none of the industries in the sector reported growth. New orders have contracted for 13 consecutive months, and are at the lowest level on record going back to January 1948.
Order backlogs have fallen to the lowest level since ISM began tracking the Backlog of Orders Index in January 1993. Manufacturers are reducing inventories and shutting down capacity to offset the slower rate of activity.