Local manufacturing index improves, but still shows decline

Seventh straight month of negative growth

manufacturing activity

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

A key measure of Milwaukee-area manufacturing activity indicated a slight improvement in October, although it continued to be in negative territory for the seventh straight month.

ISM image

The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers Index was at 46.66 in October, up from 39.44 in September, according to the Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing.

Any number more than 50 indicates growth, while less than 50 signals contraction. The PMI has been at or above 50 for 17 of the past 26 months.

In the October survey, respondents said:

• There has been continued concern over the lack of quality vendors that lead to long-term issue concerns such as poor customer service and lower inventory.
• The continuing slowdown in the energy sector, specifically oil and gas, has caused a severe slowdown in the sales of materials used in fracking, which is a significant part of some companies’ total sales.
• There are expectations that manufacturing will be down in the Midwest in the coming six months.

Manufacturing PMI
Milwaukee-area manufacturing activity showed a slight improvement in October, although it remains in negative territory for the seventh straight month.

Employment, supplier deliveries, customers’ inventories and imports grew or quickened in October, while new orders, production, inventories, prices, backlog of orders and exports declined.

Seasonally adjusted blue collar employment declined from 45.1 in September to 41.4 in October, and seasonally adjusted white collar employment declined from 58 in September to 55.1 in October.

In the six-month outlook on business conditions, respondents indicated a downward shift in positive expectations compared with September. Approximately 21.4 percent of respondents expect positive conditions, 57.1 percent expect conditions to remain the same and 21.4 percent expect conditions to worsen within the next six months.

Get more economic data at the BizTracker page, a collection of BizTimes Milwaukee’s economic data reports.

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