U.S. manufacturing sector contracts for fourth consecutive month

Dec. 2 (UPI) — The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted for a fourth consecutive month, according to data released by the Insititute for Supply Management on Monday.

The ISM’s Production Manufacturing Index measured 48.1 percent, down 48.3 percent from October and marking the fourth straight month with measurements below 50 percent, which indicates contraction in the sector.

New orders fell 1.9 percent to 47.2 percent, employment fell to 46.6 percent and new export orders dropped to 47.9 percent.

Despite the continued contraction, the GDP increased by 1.5 percent as supplier deliveries increased 2.5 percent to 52 percent, while prices and imports also grew.

“Overall inputs indicate supply chains are meeting demand and companies are less confident that materials received will be consumed in a reasonable time period,” Chair of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, Timothy R. Fiore, said.

The contraction in manufacturing comes amid the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China that has seen each country impose tariffs on billions of dollars of goods.

“Global trade remains the most significant cross-industry issue. Among the six big industry sectors, food, beverage and tobacco products remains the strongest, while fabricated metal products is the weakest,” said Fiore. “Overall, sentiment this month is neutral regarding near-term growth.”

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