The Institute for Supply Management’s measure of manufacturing activity contracted more than expected in November while continuing the overall economy’s 102-month growth streak.
Manufacturing sector activity decreased to 58.2 in November, 0.5 points below the prior month’s reading of 58.7. Economists expected the manufacturing index to slip to 58.4 in November, according to a Reuters poll.
Fourteen out of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in November, including paper products, machinery and transportation equipment. Of the four laggards, wood products and petroleum and coal products posted contraction during the November period.
Respondents from the transportation industry said the “overall industry remains strong. [We] continue to have a healthy backlog of orders.”
A reading above 50 for the index indicates expansion in the service sector, and a reading below 50 signals contraction. By this measure, the overall economy has grown for 102 consecutive months and the manufacturing sector has grown for 15 consecutive months.