Keeping up with the news, here are a few highlights of trends in U.S. manufacturing.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index fell to 53.5 in January from 55.1 in December. That is the third straight drop and lowest since January 2014. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion. Article
Economists weren't overly concerned by the report. Most said it is consistent with steady growth in the first quarter.
"This decline is no reason to panic," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients. The report probably reflects the impact of the stronger dollar on large U.S. manufacturers that export many of their goods, he said. It does not capture the services firms, like retailers, that are benefiting from cheaper gas, which has lifted Americans' spending power, Ashworth added.
Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM's manufacturing survey committee, said that cheaper oil is benefiting many manufacturers by cutting their energy costs. Article
The stronger dollar also lowers U.S. multinational corporations’ abroad profits. Last week, Procter Gamble, DuPont and Caterpillar all pronounced their gain took a strike from a clever dollar.
The abroad misunderstanding dampened a U.S. economy in a final 3 months of final year. Exports rose during a slowest gait given a commencement of a year. Meanwhile, imports, that turn cheaper when a dollar rises, jumped. The wider trade opening shaved enlargement by a commission point.