American manufacturing activity declined for the fifth month in a row in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The December reading of 47.2 was the lowest since June of 2009. A reading below 50 means a contraction in activity.
ISM measures 18 different manufacturing sectors in the US economy. 15 of the 18 are in contraction. According to the survey:
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, three reported growth in December: Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Computer & Electronic Products. The 15 industries reporting contraction in December — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Machinery.
Imagine that. In an giant monetary experiment in which interest rates incentivize financial speculation and share buybacks, you see a massive decline in business investment and manufacturing. Nice work Fed.