The manufacturing sector flipped from contraction to expansion in December, whereas the service sector expanded for the 36th consecutive month.Both finished 2012 above the breakeven line of 50%, indicating their expansion.
The Performance Manufacturing Index (PMI) registered at 50.7%, gaining 1.2% from the November's reading of 49.5% (Figure 2).
This strong performance was supported by fast growth in employment, prices, exports and imports. At the same time, supplier deliveries, inventories and customers' inventories slowed this month. Among manufacturing industries, both the Paper and Wood Products industries reported growth in December, ranking second and fourth, respectively. The Wood Products industry expanded in production, while the Paper Products industry grew in new orders, production, employment, backlog of orders, and exports (Table 3).
The Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) reported at 56.1% in December, the 36th consecutive month of growth (Figure 3). That was 1.4% higher than the 54.7% reading in November. New orders, employment and supplier deliveries indices grew at a faster rate, while inventories and price indices grew at a slower rate. Of the 13 non-manufacturing industries, the growth of Construction, Ag & Forestry, and Real Estate industries ranked second, eighth, and tenth in December (Table 3).