Manufacturing Slows A Bit In December

Manufacturing activity cooled a tiny bit in December.

According to Markit, the US manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) slipped to 53.7 in December from 54.8 in November.

Here are the key points from Markit:

  • Production levels rise at the weakest pace since January
  • Slowest increase in manufacturing payroll numbers for five months
  • Input cost inflation hits 20-month low amid falling prices for oil-related products

“Softer output and employment numbers merely represent a cooling in the pace of expansion from unusually strong rates earlier in the year, but also send a warning light to policymakers that the fourth quarter is likely to see a weakening in the pace of economic growth, which is starting to hit hiring,” Markit’s Chris Williamson said.

“We expect this weakening to become evident in the official data early in the new year, meaning rate setters will continue to err on the side of caution in terms of when the economy may be ready for higher interest rates, especially as the survey data also highlight a further drop in inflationary pressures.”

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