A variety of indicators show that U.S. manufacturing contracted rapidly in November, according to a monthly report by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), an international association of supply executives. This was the fourth consecutive month in which the manufacturing sector failed to grow and the second consecutive month in which the overall economy contracted, the report says.
New orders, production, employment and inventories all contracted, while prices continued to fall, the report said.
Several indicators fell to their lowest level in the history of the report, started in 1931 and done continuously since except for a four-year period during World War II.
"When comparing November to October, the PMI [factory index] indicates a continuing rapid rate of contraction in manufacturing," said Norbert J. Ore, chair of the Institute. "New orders have contracted for 12 consecutive months and are at the lowest level since June 1980 when the index registered 24.2%. Order backlogs have fallen to the lowest level since ISM began tracking the backlog of orders index in January 1993.
"The Prices Index at 25.5% indicates that commodity prices continue to decline at a rapid rate. This is the lowest reading for the index since May 1949 when it registered 20.1%," Ore added.
Similar measures in China, the U.K., the euro area and Russia all showed similar declines, Bloomberg.com reported.