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Manufacturing Remains Encouraging
- The Institute for Supply Management® said that manufacturing activity in November pulled back from October, which had recorded the fastest pace since September 2018. The index noted decelerating—but still solid—expansions for new orders and production.
- Demand and output in the sector expanded for the sixth straight month, bouncing back from steep declines from COVID-19 in the spring. Yet, supply chain disruptions continued to challenge many firms.
- After expanding in October at the fastest pace in two years, the Dallas Federal Reserve said that manufacturing grew at a slower rate in November, mirroring other regional surveys. Activity expanded in Texas for the fourth consecutive month, with respondents upbeat in their outlook moving forward.
- New orders for manufactured goods rose 1.0% in October, increasing for the sixth straight month. Despite notable gains since the spring, the pace of new orders remains 3.2% below the pre-pandemic pace.
- New orders for core capital goods—a proxy for capital spending in the U.S. economy—rose 0.8% to $70.1 billion in October, a new record. Encouragingly, core capital goods orders have risen a very robust 5.9% over the past 12 months.
- Manufacturing added 27,000 workers in November, rising for the seventh straight month. Employment in the sector remains well below its pre-COVID-19 pace, down by 599,000 in November relative to the level in February. The current outlook is for 12,250,000 employees in the manufacturing sector at year’s end.
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