Manufacturing activity continues growth nationally

November PMI matches yearly high

manufacturing activity

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:11 am

National manufacturing activity improved for the third straight month and equaled its best performance of the year, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s November Report on Business.

The group’s November PMI registered at 53.2 percent, up from 51.9 in October. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the industry.

The index has been trending upward since hitting its most recent low point of 49.5 percent in August. That came after it peaked at 53.2 percent in June.

Nearly all the measures tracked by the report were trending in the right direction in November. New orders increased to 53 while production was up to 56. Prices were flat while order backlogs increased.

The one noticeable drop came in the employment measure which moved from 52.9 in October to 52.3 in November, still indicating growth, albeit at a slower pace.

Respondents in the survey were generally optimistic. Someone in the computer and electronic products business said there were strong manufacturing numbers in anticipation of strong year-end books.

A plastics and rubber products respondent said the business was skipping its Christmas break due to increased customer orders.

A machinery respondent said there are new spec buildings are going up in the area and companies were adding additional production space.

The results of the national survey were generally in-line with the Marquette-ISM report released Wednesday. While the two measures are not directly comparable, that report also showed growth in most measures but a slowing in employment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release November jobs number Friday. While the country has added nearly 1.5 million private sector jobs since the start of the year, the manufacturing sector has lost 80,000 jobs through October.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.