US manufacturing declines after first half growth

Thursday, 19 December, 2002

After a strong first quarter, the United States manufacturing sector has softened significantly, according to the US-based Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Much of September's data is mixed and lacks a clear trend. Although the ISM's Purchasing Management Index (PMI) dipped below the break even point of 50 per cent to 49.5 per cent, ISM sees an obvious dichotomy between the supplier deliveries index showing a rapid pace while the backlog of order index is declining.

According to the ISM, order backlogs declined for the third consecutive month, while supplier deliveries slowed for the ninth consecutive month.

Manufacturing employment in the US continued to decline in September as the index remained below 50 per cent for the 24th consecutive month. ISM's prices index is above 50 per cent as manufacturers experienced higher prices for the seventh consecutive month.

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