Private manufacturing construction jumped 6.0% to a record $139.4 billion in January. Private construction in the sector has trended strongly higher since bottoming out at $72.46 billion in February 2021. Over the past 12 months, activity has soared 53.8%.
- The ISM® Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index® contracted for the fourth straight month but inched up from a post-pandemic low of 47.4 in January to 47.7 in February. Interestingly, the sample comments provide a more mixed view of manufacturing activity. While some respondents cite some slowdowns, others note steady (but cautious) business growth despite lingering challenges.
- In the ISM® report, raw material prices rose slightly in February after declining for four consecutive months. The data continued to reflect progress on supply chain challenges, with supplier deliveries rising in the past three months at rates not seen since March 2009.
- Manufacturing labor productivity fell 2.7% at the annual rate in the fourth quarter, with output down 3.0%. At the same time, the number of hours worked slipped 0.4% in the fourth quarter, with hourly compensation up 4.8%. Unit labor costs among manufacturers jumped 7.7%.
On an annual basis, labor productivity in the manufacturing sector declined 1.0% in 2022, off from 2.6% in 2021 and the weakest since 2019.