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The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index increased to 60.7% in December, up from November’s 57.5%. December’s reading represents the highest level since August 2018. The ISM index is compiled from a survey of senior executives who are asked whether business is improving or declining. The increase signals a manufacturing economy that is in a continued recovery with gains in production, orders, and employment. The index for new orders rose to 67.9% from 65.1%, while the production gauge increased 4 points to 64.8%. The employment barometer rose 3.1 points to 51.5%, showing positive movement for the second time in three months.
The Commerce Department reported new orders for U.S.-made goods rose by 1.0% in November to $487.2 billion, this follows an upwardly revised 1.3% for October. This is the 7th consecutive month registering an increase. Orders for durable goods increased by 1.0% to $487.2 billion. Transportation equipment led durables up 2.1% to $79.0 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods rose 1.1% to $242.8 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable increased by 0.3% to $250.1 billion. Shipments of manufactured nondurable goods increased 1.1% to $242.8 billion. Inventories of manufactured goods increased by 0.7 % in November to $692.9 billion.
The Department of Labor reported December job losses of 140,000 as the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%. While there were job gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction, they were offset by job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education. Leisure and hospitality declined by 498,000, with three-quarters of the decrease coming from food services and drinking places. Employment in private education dropped by 63,000 and is down 450,000 since February. On the positive side business services added 161,000 jobs, retail trade added 121,000, and construction added 51,000. The labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio were both unchanged at 61.5% and 57.4%. The number of people who want a job, but are unable to find one also was unchanged at 7.3 million, up 2.3 million over February.
Tuesday January 12 – JOLTs Job Openings (Nov)
Friday January 15 – Retail Sales (MoM) (Dec)
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