The Institute for Supply Management has come out with it's latest manufacturing numbers for January 2009.
January marked 12 months of contraction in the manufacturing sector. However, the rate of decline as measured by the PMI was slower than experienced in December.
The January New Orders Index is at 33.2 percent, up from the seasonally adjusted 23.1 percent recorded in December. While this is a significant month-over-month improvement, it is still a sign of continuing weakness in the sector. Comments from our respondents indicate that it will take a recovery in automobiles and housing for the manufacturing sector to once again prosper.
On a positive note, the Prices Index continues to indicate significant deflation in the prices that manufacturers have to pay for their inputs, and this should ultimately be good for the consumer.