Manufacturing sector continues growth streak

Milwaukee area manufacturing has been growing for five consecutive months, according to a report today from the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee.

The Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing showed the Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of manufacturing growth, registered at 52.82 in January, down from 54.27 in December.

Any reading above 50 indicates growth, while below 50 suggests contraction. January marked the fifth straight month with a PMI reading above 50.

January survey respondents said:

  • “No major supply chain issues. All commodities are readily available and the economy remains sluggish.”
  • “The difficulty in predicting incoming customer orders has become an ongoing problem over the past 12 months due to high volatility in order patterns.”
  • “We are hearing some softness on the consumer end.”
  • Trying to get ahead of Chinese New Year.
  • Brazil (exports) slowing—end of government subsidy.

Production, employment, prices and imports were growing in January. New orders, supplier deliveries, inventories, customers’ inventories and backlog of orders were slower or declining this month.

Blue collar employment was growing in January, while white collar employment was declining.

Average lead time for capital expenditures increased by seven days to 93 days, average lead time for production materials increased by two days to 37 days and average lead time for maintenance, repair and operating supplies decreased by two days to 21 days.

In the six month outlook on business conditions, about 40 percent expect positive conditions, down from about 42 percent in December. About 40 percent expect the same conditions, down from about 42 percent in December. And about 18 percent expect worse conditions, up from about 14 percent in December.

Responses regarding the outlook included:

  • “We are experiencing a very slow start to the year.”
  • “Coming off low cycle.”
  • “Seasonal trend.”

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