The December ISM manufacturing indices point to an economy that continues to grow at a moderate pace. Given the prevailing mood of pessimism, they provide some encouragement, at least in so far as they showed no signs of any deterioration.
The U.S. economy continues to do better than the eurozone economy, as this chart comparing ISM indices for the U.S. and eurozone manufacturing sectors suggests. The eurozone is in a recession, but it is comforting to see that conditions there are not deteriorating.
December export orders strengthened after a period of weakness that lasted from June through November. This provides some confirmation for the thesis that overseas economies are not deteriorating further and suggests that they may even be recovering.
The December employment index improved somewhat, in a mildly encouraging sign.