MRO Magazine

U.S. manufacturers see fifth straight month of growth


January 3, 2010
By PEM Magazine

Tempe, AZ — Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in December for the fifth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the eighth consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The report was issued on Monday by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector grew for the fifth consecutive month in December as the PMI rose to 55.9 percent, its highest reading since April 2006 when it registered 56 percent. This month’s report is quite strong as both the New Orders and Production Indexes are above 60 percent. The sector may be benefiting from an excessive destocking cycle as indicated by the recent performance of the Customers’ Inventories Index. Customers’ inventories have been ‘too low’ for nine consecutive months, and this month’s index is the lowest reading since the inception of the index in January 1997. Overall, the recovery in manufacturing is continuing, but there are still some industries mired in the downturn as evidenced by the seven industries still in decline."

Performance by industry
In December, nine of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth. The industries — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; Furniture & Related Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The seven industries reporting contraction in December — listed in order — are: Wood Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Fabricated Metal Products.

What respondents are saying…
According to the study administrators, respondents had this to say about the marketplace:
"Capital is tight. The forecast has been lowered for 2010." (Chemical Products)
"Nice rebound for our consumer business." (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
"Demand from automotive [manufacturers] remains strong, with some plants not having extended shutdowns during the Christmas holiday." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Still not seeing any increase in production as the economic indicators are suggesting." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
"Business remains steady and strong." (Primary Metals)


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