The prices-paid index, which tracks the cost of raw materials and supplies, improved to 64.4 in November from October's 71.5. But the index still suggests costs are increasing.
The inventory index remained in negative territory at 44.9 in November although it was slightly better than October's 43.5.
"Supply managers have now cut inventories for five straight months. The last time this happened was in 2009 when supply managers were reducing inventories in anticipation of weaker business activity," Goss said.
The export index fell to 47.9 in November from October's strong 60.8 reading. The import index also declined to 42.6 in November from 44.2 in October.
The other components of November's overall index were:
— New orders grew to 46 from October's 43.3.
— Production or sales improved to 46.6 in November, from October's 43.9.
— And delivery lead time declined to 51.8 from October's 54.1.
Creighton University economic reports: http://www.outlook-economic.com