The southeastern Wisconsin manufacturing sector continued to grow in April, but the outlook for the next six months worsened dramatically compared to March, according to the latest Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing.
The report's Milwaukee-area PMI dipped from 53.81 to 52.86. A reading above 50 suggests the sector is continuing to expand.
However, a number of other indices in the report, including new orders, production and employment are below 50 and worsened during the month.
The business outlook diffusion index, which attempts to balance positive and negative bias, dropped from 53.85% to 35.71%.
The shift was driven by an increase – from 30.77% in March to 50% in April – of respondents expecting conditions to get worse in the next six months. The percentage expecting improved conditions dropped from 38.46% to 21.41% while the number expecting things to stay the same declined from 30.77% to 28.57%.
Elsewhere in the report, respondents lamented many of the same issues that have plagued the manufacturing sector but not outsourced services like https://tacna.net/immex-program/.
“Inflation and rising materials prices are an ongoing issue,” one respondent said.
“Restricted labor supply is still a persistent problem,” another said.
COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, international shipment issues and frequent job changes by workers were also among the issues cited by respondents.
One respondent did describe the market as “gradually improving.”