Regional manufacturing activity growth rate holds steady in May

New orders, production up during month

manufacturing activity

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

The growth rate of regional manufacturing activity remained relatively stable in May as the new orders, production and employment pushed higher, but the Milwaukee-area PMI decreased slightly.

The Milwaukee-ISM Report on Manufacturing Milwaukee-area PMI decreased from 57.87 in April to 57.22 in May. Any reading above 50 indicates the manufacturing sector expanded during the month.

manufacturing activity

Respondent comments in the report, produced by the Marquette University Center for Supply Chain Management, were somewhat mixed with some describing strong business conditions, others lamenting some supply chain issues and others pointing to weak conditions.

One respondent suggested a lack of investment by large plastic resin producers was leading to increased prices. Another said steel supplies are not keeping up with demand, curtailing the market.

The largest gains were made in exports, up 10.6 percentage points to 63.33, and production, up 10 percentage points to 65.43. Gains were also made in new orders, up 3 points to 62.77, and backlog of orders, up 3 points to 63.33.

Supplier deliveries were down sharply, 13.2 points to 49.16. Customer inventories were down 8.1 points to 30 and inventories were down 4.8 points to 43.18.

The business outlook for the next six months declined slightly, with the diffusion index, which seeks to account for bias towards positive or negative views, dropping from 72 percent to 68.18 percent. The percentage expecting positive conditions increased from 48 to 50 percent, but the percentage expecting worse conditions increased from 4 percent to 13.64 percent.

Employment indices moved higher in May, with blue collar increasing from 61.9 to 65.7 and white collage increasing from 54.4 to 57.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at 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.

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