Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 18th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 66th consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business issued Dec. 1 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.

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The November PMI (purchasing manager’s index) registered 58.7 percent, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from October’s reading of 59 percent, indicating continued expansion in manufacturing.

The New Orders Index registered 66 percent, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the reading of 65.8 percent in October.

The Production Index registered 64.4 percent, 0.4 percentage point below the October reading of 64.8 percent.

The Employment Index grew for the 17th consecutive month, registering 54.9 percent, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point below the October reading of 55.5 percent.

Inventories of raw materials registered 51.5 percent, a decrease of 1 percentage point from the October reading of 52.5 percent.

The Prices Index registered 44.5 percent, down 9 percentage points from the October reading of 53.5 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices in November relative to October.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 are reporting growth in November in the following order: Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Textile Mills; Printing & Related Support Activities; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Paper Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Primary Metals.

The only industry reporting contraction in November is Apparel, Leather & Allied Products.