Faster growth was recorded for new orders (69.4 from 64); production (65.8 from 63.9); backlog of orders (56 from 55) and new export orders (58.5 from 56). Also, supplier delivery times improved (57.9 from 65.6). On the other hand, employment slowed (57 from 59.7); inventories continued to decrease although less (48.5 from 47) and inflationary pressures went up (69 from 65.5).
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in December in the following order: Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. Two industries reported contraction during the period: Wood Products; and Textile Mills.