U.S. Manufacturing Index Indicates Continued Contraction In November

The Institute for Supply Management released a report on Friday showing a continued contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of November.

The ISM said its manufacturing PMI came in at 46.7 in November, unchanged from October, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 47.6.

The unchanged reading came as the new orders index rose to 48.3 in November from 45.5 in October, but the production index slipped to 48.5 from 50.4 in the previous month.

“Demand remains soft, and production execution is slightly down compared to October as panelists’ companies continue to manage outputs, material inputs and โ€” more aggressively โ€” labor costs,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

The employment index also edged down to 45.8 in November from 46.8 in October, indicating a slightly faster contraction in employment in the manufacturing sector.

Meanwhile, the report said the prices index jumped to 49.9 in November from 45.1 in October, signifying price stability as a result of energy markets easing.

“The ISM Manufacturing PMI’s weakness in November is concerning given expectations that manufacturing activity would pick up following the end of the UAW strike on October 30,” said Bill Adams, Chief Economist for Comerica Bank.

He added, “Manufacturing is a headwind to the economy in the fourth quarter of 2023, and will likely contribute to a marked slowdown in real GDP growth.”

The ISM is scheduled to release a separate report next Tuesday on U.S. service sector activity in the month of November.

The services PMI is currently expected to creep up to 52.0 in November from 51.8 in October, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

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