FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Manufacturing activity contracted in January for its twelfth consecutive month, although its contracting pace slowed down somewhat, with employment in low levels and new orders improving somewhat from the previous month, according to the latest ISM report on Business.

PMI manufacturing Index has improved to 35.6 in January, from 32.6 in December, still considerably below numbers above 50 which indicate that the sector is expanding. The Average PMI for the last 12 months has been 44.3.

New orders have posted a considerable improvement from December to January, increasing more then 10 points to 33.2 which, despite the large month on month increase, is still a level showing weakness in the sector.

Employment declined for sixth consecutive time with a reading of 29.9, the same as in the previous month, while the prices Index rose to 29 in January from 18 in December, which, still means that manufacturers are ppaying lower prices in January.