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Slight Lull in January Manufacturing Numbers No Cause for Concern

Image via Flickr by Nicole Yeary

The U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index released by Markit, a financial data and analysis firm, indicates a slight dip in the manufacturing sector for January. However, analysts and economists do not fear it is cause for concern. According to reports, the manufacturing sector remains strong and growing, and the latest numbers indicated some temporary blips in the areas of new orders and a slower output by manufacturers. Overall, the market is growing by about two percent per quarter, which is helping to fuel about 10,000 jobs in manufacturing each month. The index read 55 in December, and dropped to 52.7 for the first month of 2014, however any number over 50 is an indicator that the market is expanding. Manufacturing output in the United States was at 53.4 in January, compared to the 57.5 the index read in the last month of 2013. New orders fell from 56.1 to 54 from December to January. Chief economist for Markit Chris Williamson said that the growth in manufacturing, which began in the middle of 2013 (following a lull during the spring) is continuing.

The index hit a high in November of 2013. A temporary dip in the payroll for the manufacturing industry was just an insignificant blip, according to Williamson. About 85 percent of the manufacturing companies polled for the index reported their numbers, which is what the current index numbers represent. Markit is expected to release a full report with more details by the end of February. 

During the same period, most European countries including Germany experienced a slight growth. However, Chinese manufacturing took a more significant dip than U.S. manufacturers. Much of the growth in the Eurozone is driven by automakers in Germany as consumers again invest in vehicles as the worldwide economy slowly begins its recovery.

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