Petroleum and coal products industry paying lower prices, hiring workers in December

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded for the 29th consecutive month in December, and the overall economy grew for the 31st consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Report on Business.

The petroleum and coal products industry reports the fifth highest growth in December out of nine industries.

The PMI registered just under 54 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from November’s reading. The PMI indicates growth for the 31st consecutive month in the overall economy, as well as expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 29th consecutive month.

The New Orders Index registered more than 57 percent, a slight increase from November’s reading and the third consecutive month of growth in new orders.

The Production Index registered just under 60 percent for December, an increase of more than 3 percentage points and the fourth consecutive month of growth. The Petroleum and Coal Products Industry reported the fifth highest growth in production for December out of 10 industries.

The Employment Index registered 55.1 percent in December, more than 3 percentage points higher than November and the 27th consecutive month the index has been above 50 percent. Out of ten industries reporting growth in employment in December, Petroleum and Coal Products reported the second highest growth.

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was faster in December as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered just under 50 percent, the same reading as it was in November. Areading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

The Inventories Index was just over 47 percent in December, more than 1 percentage point lower than the reading in November.

Customers are reporting lower inventories in December as the Customers’ Inventories Index registered 42.5 percent, 7.5 percentage points lower than in November and the 33rd consecutive month of low customer inventories.

The Prices Index registered 47.5 percent in December, 2.5 percentage points higher than November and the third consecutive month of contraction in the Prices Index. In December, 21 percent of respondents reported paying higher prices, 26 percent reported paying lower prices and 53 percent reported paying the same prices as in November. Out of eight industries paying lower prices, the Petroleum and Coal Products industry reported paying the fourth lowest prices for the month.

The Backlog of Orders Index registered 48 percent in December, 3 percentage points higher than November. Of the 87 percent of respondents who reported a backlog of orders, 20 percent reported greater backlogs, 24 percent have smaller backlogs and 56 percent report no change from November. The Petroleum and Coal Products industry reported the third highest decrease in order backlogs out of nine industries.

The New Export Orders Index registered 53 percent in December, the 30th consecutive month the index registered 50 percent or greater. The index is also 1 percentage point higher than November’s reading.

The Imports Index registered 54 percent in December, 5 percentage points higher than November’s reading and the first month of growth after two months of contraction.

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