The manufacturing sector expanded for the eighth consecutive month as the overall economy experienced its 56th consecutive month of growth in January 2014, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s most recent Manufacturing Report on Business.  Leading to “cautious optimism”, eleven of the eighteen participating manufacturing industries reported growth in January.

However, in comparison to December 2013, many of the key indicators showed sharp decreases, including PMI, New Orders, Productions, and Inventories of raw materials. As one respondent stated, it was a “good finish to 2013, but slow start to 2014.”  Extremely poor weather conditions were attributed to numerous shipping issues that negatively impacted the businesses of many of the respondents.