The decline in U.S. manufacturing deepened in December as demand for such products as cars, appliances and furniture reached the lowest level since at least 1948, signaling further cutbacks in factory jobs and production this year. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell to 32.4, below economists’ forecasts and the lowest level since 1980, from 36.2 the prior month. Readings less than 50 signal contraction. The group’s new-orders measure reached the lowest level on record and prices slid the most since 1949.
Monday, January 5, 2009