Supply chain issues may be easing even as economic activity contracts, report suggests

While economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in November for the first time since May 2020, there were some signs of optimism that supply chain issues may generally be easing, a key U.S. economic report showed Dec. 5.

The November 2022 "Manufacturing ISM Report on Business," issued by the Institute of Supply Management, showed the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49 percent from the previous month's 50.2 percent level, its lowest since May 2020 when it was at just 43.5 percent.

But while that index figure indicated slowing economic activity overall, supply chain issues were in more positive territory, the report showed. 

The supplier deliveries index reading of 47.2 percent, for exaple, is a 0.4 percentage point higher than the October figure of 46.8 percent, its second straight month of increase.

Such data is important to the healthcare industry given persistent concerns many hospital groups, for example, have over their ability to obtain adequate supplies. The ISM will release its specific hospital report for November data Dec. 7.

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