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 17,550.69 -47.51 -0.27%
Nasdaq 5,105.55 -9.84 -0.19%
S&P 500 2,093.32 -4.72 -0.22%
Treasuries 2.21 0.06 2.84%
Data as of 2:44am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 114.64 -3.80 -3.21%
Baxter International... 40.31 0.80 2.02%
Bank of America Corp... 17.80 0.03 0.17%
Baxalta Inc 37.10 3.95 11.92%
Frontier Communicati... 5.25 0.10 1.94%
Data as of Aug 4
Sponsors

Sections

The company's movie studios went up 13% thanks in large part to "Avengers: Age of Ultron." More

Facebook patented a technology to allow lenders to survey your friends' credit scores and use them to approve or reject your loan application. More

Candle-Lite is committed to manufacturing in America -- which is a good thing because it contributes more than $300 million to Ohio's economy. More

You can't blame it on the economy anymore. More Millennials now have jobs, but are still living at home. More