In November, The US Manufacturing Action Moves Forward with Development

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Manufacturing activity in the United States grew at a higher rate in November, as companies tried to keep up with demand despite supply bottlenecks and disruptions.

According to a report released on Wednesday, the manufacturing activity index of the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group for purchasing managers, rose to 61.1 in November, up from 60.8 in September.

Any reading of above 50 implies that the manufacturing sector is growing. Since the pandemic outbreak in the spring of 2020, the manufacturing industry has grown for 18 straight months.

In November, the sub-categories of new orders, production, and employment all expanded at a quicker rate, while many respondents said businesses are still having difficulty recruiting, despite some improvements over the previous three months. According to the report by ISM, 86 percent of the employment comments were all about hiring, with 51 percent of respondents stating they are having trouble filling positions, up from October.

However, labor shortages remain an issue. At the end of September, there were 10.4 million unfilled jobs.

Due to increased demand, businesses are also having difficulty keeping their stocks filled. In November, the ISM’s customer inventories index recorded a value of 25.1, marking the 62nd month in a row that it has been in the “too low” range. While having sparse or empty shelves is not so great for business, the ISM survey predicts that it will stimulate increased manufacturing to address the situation.

Prices are still hefty, but they declined somewhat in November to 82.4 from 85.7 in October.

Increased production costs are quickly passed on to consumers by the factories, and there are no signs of resistance yet.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday that “the risk of higher inflation has increased,” adding that the U.S. central bank should consider accelerating the pace of winding down its large-scale bond purchases at its next policy meeting in two weeks.

On an annual basis, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure elevated by the most in 31 years in October. The forward-looking new orders sub-index of the ISM survey climbed to 61.5 in November from 59.8 in October. Customer inventories have declined significantly.

Last month, thirteen of the fifteen manufacturing sectors experienced growth, with apparel and furniture leading the way. Printing and primary metals were the only two industries that contracted.

ISM said the broad sentiment of its panel remained strongly optimistic, but they “remain focused on the importance of improving supply chain issues to respond to ongoing high levels of demand,” said Timothy R. Fiore, head of ISM’s manufacturing survey committee.