Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Manufacturing Slows in November, but Improvements Foreseen

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Manufacturing Slows in November, but Improvements Foreseen

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The manufacturing sector slowed for the sixth straight month in November as industrial companies felt the crunch of the global financial crisis, but a separate report Tuesday suggested the economy will improve by mid-1999.

The National Association of Purchasing Management, which tracks the manufacturing sector through a survey of corporate purchasing executives, said new orders, exports and imports declined at many of the nation's factories last month.

The trade group's index of economic activity registered at 46.8 percent, down 1.5 percent from October. Any reading under 50 percent is a sign that the industrial sector is contracting. The index also inched closer to the NAPM's benchmark of 43.6 percent, which it considers the point at which the broader economy is in recession. The economy has grown for 91 straight months, although the rate of growth has slowed, the report said. In a separate report Tuesday, The Conference Board, a private research group, reported its Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.1 percent in October, to 105.6. The gain followed two months of flat results. In a third report, the Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending rose a moderate 0.3 percent in October, the fifth consecutive increase. The purchasing managers survey is closely watched because it is the freshest evidence of how the economy fared in the previous month. The Leading Indicators are widely viewed as a forecast of how the economy will fare six to nine months in the future. In the purchasing managers' report, the rate of decline was faster than economists had expected. Exports failed to grow for the 11th straight month, while imports fell for the first time since July 1998. New orders, a key indicator of demand for industrial goods, also fell in November, signaling a decline in production in the coming months. …

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