Growth in U.S. manufacturing in December was weaker than expected, slouching to its slowest pace since January of 2020, a survey of manufacturing executives indicated Tuesday.
The Institute for Supply Management said that its index of manufacturing activity fell to a reading of 58.7 in December, below the consensus forecast of 60.5 and 2.4 percentage points lower than the November reading.
The index is assembled from questionnaires sent out to purchasing managers at manufacturing businesses, giving rise to its name as the Purchasing Managers Index, or PMI. It is regarded as a reliable predictor of government reports on the economy, which frequently come out months later.
December’s reading was the worst since January 2021, when the index also read 58.7.