Manufacturing activity expanded in January, according to data released by the Institute for Supply Management Friday. The group’s Purchasing Manager’s Index registered 53.1 for the month, a 3% increase over December’s seasonally adjusted reading of 50.2.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector.
ISM said the January report indicates a positive start to manufacturing for 2013, as all five of its component indexes were above the 50-point threshold indicating growth. New orders rose nearly 4% during the month to 53.3 while production rose 1% to 53.6, employment rose 2% to 54, and inventories grew by 8% to 51. Supplier deliveries slowed a bit but remained above 50, registering 53.6 compared to December’s 53.7.
This marks the second straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector; the PMI dipped below 50 in November when it hit 49.9, its lowest point in the last 12 months.