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Manufacturing hits 26-year low
Nashville Business Journal
December 1, 2008

New research shows the nation's manufacturing activity fell in November to a 26-year low.

The Institute for Supply Management, a purchasing management group based in Tempe, Ariz., said Monday its manufacturing index declined from a reading of 38.9 in October to 36.2 in November.

It was the lowest reading for the index since May 1982. Any reading below 50 shows manufacturing activity is shrinking.

A reading below 41 typically is associated with a recession in the broader economy. The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday the U.S. economy is, in fact, in a recession.

The part of the index that measures prices paid by manufacturers for raw materials plummeted 11.2 points in November to 25.5. It was the lowest reading in nearly 60 years, since it registered 20.1 in May 1949.

The index also showed new orders for manufactured goods fell 4.3 points, to a reading of 27.9 in November. New orders have declined for 12 months in a row.

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