Ahead of the Bell: US manufacturing index
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Institute for Supply Management releases its January survey on U.S. manufacturing production, orders, hiring and other activity at 10 a.m. Eastern Monday.
STILL SHRINKING: Economists expect factory activity shrank in January for the third straight month. They forecast the institute’s index rose to 48.5 last month from 48.2 in December, according to a survey by the data firm FactSet. But anything below 50 signals contraction. The institute reported in December that manufacturing contracted at the fastest pace in more than six years, with factories cutting more jobs and receiving fewer new orders.
WORLD OF TROUBLE: American factories have been hurt by economic weakness overseas, low oil prices and a strong dollar, which makes U.S. goods more expensive in foreign markets.
On Friday, the Commerce Department reported that the American economy grew at a lackluster 0.7 percent annual rate from October through December. Exports of goods dropped a 5.4 percent annual rate. Investment in equipment fell at an annual rate of 2.5 percent. Factories added just 30,000 jobs in 2015, fewest since they cut nearly 1.4 million jobs in the recession year 2009.
The ISM, a trade group of purchasing managers, surveys about 200 companies each month.