(RTTNews.com) - After reporting a significant slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the previous month, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Friday showing growth unexpectedly reaccelerated in the month of January.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index climbed to 56.6 in January from a revised 54.3 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector.
Economists had expected the manufacturing index to edge down to 54.0 from 54.1 originally reported for the previous month.
"Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, supported by strong demand and output," said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
The report said the new orders index surged up to 58.2 in January from 51.3 in December, while the production index jumped to 60.5 from 54.1.
On the other hand, the report said the employment index dipped to 55.5 in January from 56.0 in December, pointing to a modest slowdown in the pace of job growth in the manufacturing sector.
A Labor Department report released earlier in the day showed the manufacturing sector added 13,000 jobs in January following an increase of 20,000 jobs in December.
The ISM said the prices index also tumbled to 49.6 in January from 54.9 in January, indicating lower raw materials prices for the first time in nearly three years.
"Inputs â€" expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports â€" continued to improve, but are negative to PMI expansion," Fiore said.
He added, "The manufacturing sector continues to expand, reversing December's weak expansion, but inputs and prices indicate fundamental changes in supply chain constraints."
Next Tuesday, the ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on activity in the service sector in the month of January.
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