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Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in December for the second consecutive month, with the December PMI® registering 48.2 percent, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the November reading of 48.6 percent. 10 manufacturing industries reporting contraction in December included10 industries reporting contraction in December — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Computer & Electronic Products; Wood Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.”- From the Institute for Supply Management: December 2015 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

We believe that this contraction has a strong seasonal component, as respondents quoted on the ISM website mentioned reducing inventories for end of year purposes for themselves, and by their customers.
Chart courtesy Calculated Risk blog
Chart courtesy Calculated Risk blog

The good news from this report would seem to be that the broad economy continues to expand, even if Manufacturing is not.

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