December Manufacturing ISM Report On Business

TEMPE, Ariz.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—January 2, 2009— Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in December for the fifth consecutive month, and the overall economy contracted for the third consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Manufacturing activity continued to decline at a rapid rate during the month of December. The decline covers the full breadth of manufacturing industries, as none of the industries in the sector report growth at this time. New orders have contracted for 13 consecutive months, and are at the lowest level on record going back to January 1948. Order backlogs have fallen to the lowest level since ISM began tracking the Backlog of Orders Index in January 1993. Manufacturers are reducing inventories and shutting down capacity to offset the slower rate of activity.”


In December, none of the manufacturing industries reported growth. The industries reporting contraction in December — listed in order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Plastics & Rubber Products; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Primary Metals; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Furniture & Related Products. Two industries reported no change in activity compared to last month: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Petroleum & Coal Products.


  • “Slowest month in years.” (Chemical Products)
  • “Soft economy continues to decrease sales volume and price.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “Business remains steady and sales are good.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “North and South America are slow but not off substantially from plans. Europe has slowed down dramatically, while Asia — particularly China — has virtually shut down.” (Machinery)
  • “Power generation industry is still strong, but there is an unsettled feeling because of the general economy.” (Transportation Equipment)








of Change


PMI 32.4 36.2 -3.8 Contracting Faster 5
New Orders 22.7 27.9 -5.2 Contracting Faster 13
Production 25.5 31.5 -6.0 Contracting Faster 4
Employment 29.9 34.2 -4.3 Contracting Faster 5
Supplier Deliveries 44.9 48.4 -3.5 Faster Faster 3
Inventories 38.8 39.1 -0.3 Contracting Faster 6
Customers’ Inventories 57.0 55.0 +2.0 Too High Faster 5
Prices 18.0 25.5 -7.5 Decreasing Faster 3
Backlog of Orders 23.0 27.0 -4.0 Contracting Faster 8
Exports 35.5 41.0 -5.5 Contracting Faster 3
Imports 39.0 37.5 +1.5 Contracting Slower 11


Manufacturing Sector

Contracting Faster 3
Contracting Faster 5

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