Financial News – Week of January 8, 2007
Employers boosted payrolls by a hefty 167,000 workers in December, 50,000 more jobs than analysts had forecast. With the hiring surge, the unemployment rate remained at a historically low 4.5%, the Labor Department said January 5, 2007.
The U.S. manufacturing sector rebounded in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index, which rose from 49.5 in November to 51.4 in December. An ISM reading below 50 indicates contraction, while above 50 signals expansion.
Orders to U.S. factories for manufactured goods edged up 0.9% in November, less than the 1.4% analysts had expected, the Commerce Department reported January 4. Declining demand for autos, machinery and steel was blamed for the tepid performance.