(ShareCast News) - The results of the most widely-followed survey of manufacturing conditions in the States dipped slightly last month, but continued to point towards robust conditions in the sector.
According to the Institute for Supply Management, its factory sector purchasing managers' index slipped from a reading of 58.7 for October to 58.2 in November.
Consensus had projected a smaller decline to 58.3.
"This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 15th consecutive month led by expansion in new orders and production, offset by supplier delivery improvement and declines in raw material inventory," said Timothy Fiore, the survey's chair.
Perhaps the most important of the survey's subindices, linked to new orders, rose from 63.4 in October to 64.0 in the latest survey.
Rates of output growth also accelerated, with the corresponding subindex increasing from 61.0 to 63.9.
Supplier deliveries on the other hand slowed down, as reflected by a decrease in the subindex from 61.4 to 56.5
Price pressures also moderated, with a subindex tracking them moving down from 68.5 to 65.5, while the subindex that tracks jobs in manufacturing off by just one tenth of a percentage point to 59.7%.
According to one respondent from the fabricated metals sector, "We are seeing steady, consistent demand for end of year. We usually see a slowdown, which we haven't seen yet."
Purchasing managers in the Transportation Equipment sector were even more upbeat, with one telling the ISM, "Overall industry demand remains strong. Continue to have a healthy backlog of orders. Local economy is also strong, with a fairly tight labor market."