Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Manufacturing revs up in January

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The manufacturing sector started off 2011 with a bang, growing at its fastest pace in more than six years, a purchasing managers' group said Tuesday.

The Institute for Supply Management's index for manufacturing activity climbed to 60.8 in January, up from 58.5 in December.

Any reading above 50 indicates expansion, and the index has remained above that level for 18 consecutive months.

While January's index is at the strongest level since May 2004, one of its components could foreshadow inflation as a threat to the economy down the road.

The ISM Prices Index, which measures the cost of raw materials used in the manufacturing process, surged ahead to 81.5, up from 72.5 in December.

"There is inflation in the pipeline -- not double digits but enough to keep buyers on their toes," John Silvia, Wells Fargo chief economist said in a research note. "There is very long list of price increases for commodities and corn, soybean oil and sugar are in there -- not wheat."

Improved employment conditions and stronger demand helped drive the overall index higher.

The employment index reached 61.7, the first time it has ticked above 60 since May 2004. The new orders component also ticked up to 67.8 from 62 in December.

Has your income fallen over the last few years? Did you take a pay cut, or have to find a new job that pays less than your old one? Tell us about it and you could be included in an upcoming story on CNNMoney. For the CNNMoney Comment Policy, click here.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
Nasdaq 5,127.53 11.39 0.22%
S&P 500 2,090.11 1.24 0.06%
Treasuries 2.22 -0.01 -0.31%
Data as of 6:00pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 30.36 0.00 0.00%
Bank of America Corp... 17.48 0.04 0.23%
HP Inc 12.61 -0.03 -0.24%
Pfizer Inc 32.79 -0.08 -0.24%
Walt Disney Co 115.13 -3.54 -2.98%
Data as of 1:01pm ET


Sumner Redstone, the media mogul who controls Viacom and CBS, is at the center of a legal dispute. One side says he is practically unable to make decisions for himself. The other says he is "engaged and attentive." More

Gold futures hit a low of $1,051.60 an ounce, yet another reminder of just how out of favor gold has become since its all-time high of nearly $1,890 in 2011. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Hive, a startup funded by the UN, is tasked with getting more Americans engaged with the refugee crisis. More

Facebook just increased the amount of paid time off new dads working at its international offices can take. More