MHI release their Business Activity Index by Prestige Economics for the last quarter of 2015. In this, the December report was positive with monthly expansions in business activity, new orders and shipments. On the downside, the report showed a deceleration in the pace of business activity and a contraction in capacity utilization. Exports also contracted sharply in December, showing that 89 percent of respondents reported month-over-month contraction. Inventories also contracted for a second consecutive month. There were fewer qualitative responses in December, but several mentioned the negative impact of the strong dollar on export sales. These qualitative responses, as well as those of prior months, reinforce the statistical reality that a strong dollar hurts exports. There were mixed comments in December about overall activity, with individual mentions of “stronger” activity, as well as conversely “not encouraging” activity.