Region’s manufacturing sector growth continues amid supply chain, inflation challenges

Southeastern Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector continued to grow in November, albeit at a slightly slower pace from October as supply chain and inflation issues continued to weigh on the sector.

The latest Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing found a Milwaukee-area PMI of 54.52 for November, a slight dip from 55.9 in October. Any reading above 50 suggests the region’s manufacturing sector is growing.

November marks the second consecutive month of slower growth after the index hit a recent peak of 58.66 in September. This spring, the index consistently read in the low- to mid-60s.

Survey respondents pointed to many of the same issues impacting manufacturers around the country as reasons for the slower growth. Those problems include a shortage of semiconductors, high transportation costs eating into profits, long lead times, high raw material costs and the continuing threat of COVID-19.

Companies also pointed to labor shortages as a major problem and said hourly wages are rising.

The outlook for the next six months also doesn’t show signs of changing in the view of survey respondents.

The report found 11.8% of respondents expect things to improve over the next six months, down from 23.5% in October and 31.6%

Another 23.5% of respondents in November expect things to get worse, down from 29.4% in October.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents, 64.7%, expect things to stay the same over the next six months, an increase from 47.1% in October.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

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.

No posts to display