(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in December following 10 consecutive months of expansion, while the overall economy grew for the 74th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector failed to grow in December ending 10 consecutive months of growth. The recent trend has been toward slower growth. However, December was apparently a very tough month as New Orders, Production and Employment were all below the break-even mark of 50 percent. Industries close to the housing market appear to be struggling more than others, and those involved in exports seem to be doing better. Slower demand appears to be more of a problem than excessive inventories based on the respondents' comments." TOP PERFORMING INDUSTRIES The seven industries reporting growth in December — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING... - "Have received a large volume of price increase notices in the last month with increases between 3 percent to as much as 15 percent." (Chemical Products) - "Business is good, but higher raw material prices are squeezing margins." (Primary Metals) - "The heavy truck industry is not recovering as expected. The latest forecast does not show an increase in orders until Q3 2008." (Fabricated Metal Products) - "General business conditions are slow." (Paper Products) -"Upward price of raw materials, plus low inventories, is pushing price of resins skyward." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
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