US manufacturing, exports and imports continue slumping in December

January 3, 2020 – US manufacturing, exports and imports all contracted in December, with the overall index registering 47.2 percent, a decrease of a 0.9 percentage point from the November reading of 48.1 percent. This marks nine straight months of softening or contraction in manufacturing. This according to the latest Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing’s Report On Business.

fr Bow of container ship

New export orders languished below growth levels with a reading of 47.3, down from 47.9 in November. This new export orders number slipped for the fifth time in six months with October being the exception.

US imports, however, rose slightly to 48.8 in December, up from its 48.3 number in November. Any number below 50.0 indicates contraction.

In the 9-state Heartland region, trade numbers were mixed with new export orders increasing to a weak 43.5 from November’s 39.1. On the other hand, imports were unchanged from November’s 52.0. “Supply managers continue to boost purchasing from abroad in anticipation of higher tariffs in the weeks and months ahead,” according to Professor Ernie Goss, PhD, director of Creighton University’s Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics, and author of the Heartland report.

“We may be starting to see suppliers try to pass on costs associated with tariffs. Uncertainty amidst some sales fall-off on the trade front continues to keep manufacturing and export markets in retreat,” said Fred Baehner, IBNewsmag publisher.

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