Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in January after a one-month expansion, while the overall economy grew for the 63rd month, according to the latest manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
After a slight rebound in December, the manufacturing sector did not grow in January. New Orders remained positive, but little change has taken place as the PMI has averaged 50.5% in the past four months. In overall terms, manufacturing lost momentum in the second half of 2006 and is starting 2007 in a less than robust fashion, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
Results show a decline in the Inventories Index to the lowest level since February 2002, indicating a significant liquidation is taking place in many supply chains. This is the largest month-to-month decrease since July/August 1984.
Top performing industries, reporting growth in January, in order are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products, Petroleum & Coal Products, Plastics & Rubber Products, Miscellaneous Manufacturing, Furniture & Related Products, Transportation Equipment, and Paper Products.
More details here.