Institute of Supply Management reports manufacturing growth in DecemberThe U.S. was greeted with upbeat economic news this morning as the U.S. Institute of Supply Management announced that the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded for the 17th consecutive month, with the overall economy growing for the 20th consecutive month. This fuels a growing sentiment that the economy has turned a corner since the recession struck three years ago.

According to the report, the manufacturing sector in the U.S. continued to grow, with "significant recovery" for almost all industries. On a more granular level, manufacturing expanded at a fast clip in autos, metals, food, machinery, computers and electronics, while industries tied to housing struggled.

Of the 18 industries that the ISM tracks, 11 showed growth in December, while four reported a contraction: Those reporting a contraction were nonmetallic mineral products, paper products, printing and related support activities and miscellaneous manufacturing. One company that specializes in electrical equipment, a sector that experienced expanded growth in December, affirms that: "We continue to see strong demand for our product in Europe and Asia."

Moreover, manufacturers that primarily deal in exports also reported robust manufacturing activity as the weaker dollar spurred global demand for U.S. goods. The report asserts: "December's strong readings in new orders and production, combined with positive comments from the panel, should create momentum as we go into the first quarter of 2011."
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