Manufacturing A Bit Sluggish In November

Reports are showing that the overall US economy grew for the 78th consecutive month, but US manufacturing has slowed a bit during the last couple of months. The recent ISM manufacturing index said that manufacturing numbers contracted in November for the first time in 36 months. This was attributed to the strong US dollar, weakened global economies, and spending cuts in the energy sector. Bobby Bono, PwC’s U.S. industrial manufacturing leader, was quoted in IndustryWeek as saying, “Despite the downward turn in overseas sentiment, overall domestic growth prospects remained healthy and manufacturers continue to focus on further strengthening core products and services. They are keeping their cash at home and directing investment toward enhancing their value propositions in an effort to remain competitive and drive future revenues.”
Employment was one bright spot in November. Overall US unemployment is now at 5%, and even though October was a slower month for manufacturing hiring, the ISM Employment Index registered 51.3% for manufacturers in November, which is a nice increase of 3.7% when compared to the 47.6% reported in October.

Bruce Peacock
Vice President of Business Development
The Richmond Group USA