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U.S. manufacturing activity contracts marginally more than anticipated in January - ISM

A report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed on Wednesday the U.S. manufacturing sector’s activity contracted further in January 2023. 

The ISM's index of manufacturing activity - the manufacturing PMI - checked in at 47.4 percent in January 2023, up 1.0 percentage point from an unrevised December reading of 48.4 percent. The January reading pointed to a contraction in the U.S. manufacturing sector for the third straight month, the pace of which was also the sharpest since May 2020 (43.5 percent).

Economists had anticipated the indicator to slip to 48.0 percent.

According to the report, the New Orders Index decreased 2.6 percentage points to 42.5 percent last month, remaining in contraction territory for the fifth consecutive month, while the Production Index dropped 0.6 percentage points to 48.0 percent, indicating the second month of shrinkage. In addition, the Employment Index edged down 0.2 percentage points to 50.6 percent, staying in expansion territory for the second month in a row. Meanwhile, the Supplier Deliveries Index advanced 0.5 percentage points to 45.6 percent, indicating that the delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was quicker for a fourth straight month. The Backlog of Orders Index jumped 2.0 percentage points to 43.4 percent, indicating order backlogs declined for the fourth consecutive month after a 27-month period of growth. On the price front, the Prices Index surged 5.1 percentage points to 44.5 percent, its highest level in three months, indicating raw materials prices dropped for the fourth straight month after a 28-month period of growth.

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