According to the December 2013 Institute for Supply Management’s Report on Business, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month. The monthly survey of purchasing and supply executives also indicated an increase in the New Orders Index to 64.2% (its highest since April 2010) and the Employment Index to 56.9% (its highest since June 2011). Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 13 reported growth in December.
The Commerce Department reported that construction in the United States rose to its highest level in nearly five years in November due to a swell in private construction projects. Spending on construction rose 1% to an annual rate of $934.4 billion, its highest level since March 2009, marking the eighth consecutive month that construction spending increased.
Spending on private residential projects reached its highest point since June 2008 and nonresidential structures, such as factories and gas pipelines, were at their highest in 11 months.
The full Manufacturing ISM Report on Business is available here, including quarterly breakdowns of each area surveyed and quotes from the participants.