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Economic Activity in the Manufacturing Sector Expanded in January

Posted 02/01/2019
New Orders, Production, and Employment Growing; Supplier Deliveries Slowing at Slower Rate; Backlog Growing; Raw Materials Inventories Growing; Customers’ Inventories Too Low; Prices Decreasing; Exports and Imports Growing

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January, and the overall economy grew for the 117th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The January PMI® registered 56.6 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points from the December reading of 54.3 percent. The New Orders Index registered 58.2 percent, an increase of 6.9 percentage points from the December reading of 51.3 percent. The Production Index registered 60.5 percent, 6.4-percentage point increase compared to the December reading of 54.1 percent. The Employment Index registered 55.5 percent, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the December reading of 56 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 56.2 percent, a 2.8 percentage point decrease from the December reading of 59 percent. The Inventories Index registered 52.8 percent, an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the December reading of 51.2 percent. The Prices Index registered 49.6 percent, a 5.3-percentage point decrease from the December reading of 54.9 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the first time in nearly three years.

“Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, supported by strong demand and output. Demand expansion improved with the New Orders Index reading returning to the high 50s, the Customers’ Inventories Index remaining too low, and the Backlog of Orders remaining at a near-zero-expansion level. Consumption continued to strengthen, with production expanding strongly and employment continuing to expand at previous-month levels. Inputs — expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to improve, but are negative to PMI® expansion. Inputs reflect an easing business environment, confirmed by Prices Index contraction.

“Exports continue to expand, but at the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2016. Prices contracted for the first time since the first quarter of 2016. The manufacturing sector continues to expand, reversing December’s weak expansion, but inputs and prices indicate fundamental changes in supply chain constraints,” said Fiore.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth in January, in the following order: Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Furniture & Related Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The only industry reporting contraction in January is Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

To read the full release, visit https://www.instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm?navItemNumber=31101

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