Furniture Producers Led U.S. Manufacturing Expansion in December
January 4, 2014 | 10:10 pm CST

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





Dec 13


Jun 2013


Nov 13


May 2013


Oct 13


Apr 2013


Sep 13


Mar 2013


Aug 13


Feb 2013


Jul 13


Jan 2013


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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