Southeastern Wisconsin manufacturing rebounds in April

Two-thirds of respondents expect conditions to remain the same

manufacturing activity

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:10 am

Manufacturing activity in southeastern Wisconsin rebounded in April after a March survey reading suggested the sector was on the verge of contracting.

The Milwaukee-area PMI registered a seasonally adjusted 55.04, according to the latest Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing. Any reading above 50 suggests growth in the sector. In March, the index registered 50.05.

It remains to be seen if activity will trend higher over several months. The index has been down in six of the last 12 months and has not seen two straight months of increases since July and August of last year. The six-month average of the index has not increased since May.

Survey results from the April report suggest those in the industry are not expecting an improvement. Two-thirds of respondents said they expect business conditions to remain the same. The remaining respondents were evenly split between expecting things to get better or get worse.

The report’s business outlook diffusion index, which balances positive and negative sentiment, was 50% in April, down slightly from 53.3% in March.

Respondent comments included continuing unexpectedly strong demand and “ambiguous market movement and demand drivers.”

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for 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.