Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December 2014 for the 19th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 67th consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business issued Jan. 2 by the Institute for Supply Management.

The report is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide, including new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, inventories, prices, backlog of orders, exports and imports

While overall activity indicates expansion with new orders, employment and production growing, the report shows inventories contracting and supplier deliveries slowing.

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The December PMI (purchasing manager’s index) registered 55.5 percent, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points from November’s reading of 58.7 percent.

The New Orders Index registered 57.3 percent, a decrease of 8.7 percentage points from the reading of 66 percent in November.

The Production Index registered 58.8 percent, 5.6 percentage points below the November reading of 64.4 percent.

The Employment Index registered 56.8 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points above the November reading of 54.9 percent.

Inventories of raw materials registered 45.5 percent, a decrease of 6 percentage points from the November reading of 51.5 percent.

The Prices Index registered 38.5 percent, down 6 percentage points from the November reading of 44.5 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices in December relative to November.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, six are reporting contraction for December, five more than November: Plastics & Rubber Products; Wood Products; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.

Eleven industries are reporting growth in December in the following order: Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; Primary Metals; Furniture & Related Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Textile Mills; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Transportation Equipment.

The next Manufacturing ISM Report On Business featuring January data will be released Feb. 2.