In some ways, this is a lame initial entry for a new year, especially after so few postings lately, but in some ways it's perfect too. From Yahoo News today:
"All positive indicators:
• A key index of activity at manufacturing firms showed that in December, America's factories expanded faster than in any month since May. Within that index, new orders and production were also up, suggesting that future months could see continuing rises.
• A Commerce Department report showed that construction spending rose by more than expected in November -- the third straight month that it has risen. The construction industry was hit hard by the housing bust but now appears to be on the rebound.
• New jobless claims recently fell to their lowest weekly level since 2008.
• And the Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 indexes all rose yesterday, the first trading day of the new year, continuing strong gains from late 2010."
And from the Daily Local:
INDICATOR: December Supply Managers’ Manufacturing Survey
KEY DATA: ISM (manufacturing): 57.0 (up 0.4 point); new orders: 60.9 (up 4.3 points); production: 60.7 (up 5.7 points)
IN A NUTSHELL: “Manufacturing ended the year on a positive note and the surging orders point to stronger growth ahead.”
WHAT IT MEANS: The key figure in the report was the sharp rise in new orders. The demand for manufactured goods was at the highest point since last spring.Interestingly, while both export orders and imports continued to rise, they did so less rapidly. The implication is that much of the new demand is coming from domestic activity, which is good news.The rise in orders led to a jump in production.
MARKETS AND FED POLICY IMPLICATIONS: The economy is in good shape. The manufacturing sector remains quite solid and with orders strong, there is no reason to believe that will change anytime soon.
That bodes well for future overall economic growth, which we should accelerate as we go through the first half of the year."
It's going to be a great economic year, I tell ya!