As reported on IndustryWeek.com, the manufacturing industry ended 2013 on a high note, registering 57% on the PMI index from the Institute for Supply Management. In addition to this, December marked the seventh consecutive month of growth on the PMI.

The reading was just 0.3% below November’s reading, slightly exceeding analysts’ consensus forecast for the month. Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, noted the “manufacturing PMI measures averaged 56.3 in the second half of 2013, a nice improvement from the 51.5 average seen in the first half of the year.”

The growth in manufacturing was paired with a slight gain in the employment index, moving from 56.5% in November to 56.9% in December.

ISM’s Bradley Holcomb said purchasing executives comments “reflect a solid final month of the year, capping off the second half of 2013, which was characterized by continuous growth and momentum in manufacturing.”

Of the 18 industry sectors, 13 reported growth in December, led by furniture and plastics & rubber products. Four manufacturing industries reported contraction in the last month of 2013: nonmetallic mineral products; machinery; chemicals; and electrical equipment and appliances.

With the strong growth that we’ve seen in the second half of 2013, it is expected that we will see more of the same in the new year.