Manufacturing contracted again in January, according to purchasing managers in the latest Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management.
The report pointed out that the rate of decline as measured by the Purchasing Managers Index was slower than experienced in December. The January New Orders Index is at 33.2%, up from the seasonally adjusted 23.1% recorded in December. While this is a significant month-over-month improvement, it is still a sign of continuing weakness in the sector, according to ISM.
The report found that a recovery in automobiles and housing will go a long way toward helping the manufacturing sector recover.
The Prices Index indicated significant deflation in prices that manufacturers have to pay for their inputs.