U.S. factory activity reaches milestone peak; coronavirus weighs on supply chains
December had seen factory activity in the United States advance to a 2-1/2 year high. The expansion came amid the consistent drag of the coronavirus pandemic on the services sector, forcing people to resort to goods. However, surging infections restricted supply chains.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity was read at 60.7 in December. The figure came to be the sharpest level of increase the index had recorded since August 2018. More so, it placed higher than the 57.7 reading seen in November, retaining its level above the 50 threshold that separates growth from decline.
The manufacturing sector’s upbeat performance likely minimized the economic impact of the coronavirus in the fourth quarter. This also helped the economy recuperate after a series of impasses that long restricted the government from passing another rescue package for unemployment and struggling businesses.