Tuesday, 04 January 2022 15:34

U.S. Manufacturing Catches Breath; Supply Logjam Starting to Break Up

Written by Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

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U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in December amid a cooling in demand for goods, but supply constraints are starting to ease and a measure of prices paid for inputs by factories fell by the most in a decade.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) survey on Jan. 4 also suggested some improvement in labor supply, with a gauge of factory employment rising to an eight-month high.


Still, Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM manufacturing business survey committee, noted "shortages of critical lowest-tier materials, high commodity prices and difficulties in transporting products continue to plague reliable consumption."


The survey does not fully capture the impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, which is rapidly spreading across the U.S. and abroad. Sky-rocketing infections could force workers to stay home and halt the tentative supply-chain progress.


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