Manufacturing expanded in December as the PMI registered 50.7%, an increase of 1.2% when compared to November's reading of 49.5%. A reading above 50%, ISM reports, indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.
A PMI in excess of 42.6%, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the December PMI indicates growth for the 43rd consecutive month in the overall economy, and indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector. Over the last six months of 2012, manufacturing registered expansion in three months and contraction in three months, moving back and forth across the 50% mark.