TEMPE, AZ - Furniture producers led the expansion of the manufacturing sector in December 2013. For the 7th month running, manufacturing overall expanded, while the U.S. economy grew for the 55th consecutive month, say the nation's purchasing managers.

The Purchasing Managers Index - or PMI - registered 57%, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business by the Intitute for Supply Management. 

A PMI in excess of 42.2% indicates an expansion of the overall economy, according to Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through December corresponds to a 3.7% increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis. In addition, if the PMI for December (57 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 4.6 percent increase in real GDP annually."

Of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed, 13 reported growth in December, led by Furniture & Related Products, followed in order by: Plastics & Rubber Products; Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

 PMI 2013 by Month

Month

PMI 


Month

PMI 

Dec 13

57.0


Jun 2013

50.9

Nov 13

57.3


May 2013

49.0

Oct 13

56.4


Apr 2013

50.7

Sep 13

56.2


Mar 2013

51.3

Aug 13

55.7


Feb 2013

54.2

Jul 13

55.4


Jan 2013

53.1

Average for 12 months – 53.9 High – 57.3 Low – 49.0

Purchasing Managers Index

One wood products manufacturer told ISM surveyers, "Markets are sound. We typically see a seasonal 4th quarter slowdown. However, this year … not so." A furniture company purchasing manager said his company is "very, very busy."

The improvement has resulted in price rises and shortages of of commodities, including wood, ISM reports.

Employment in furniture manufacturing also grew at a good clip, second only to textile prouction.

 

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