The Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing will be discontinued after the upcoming April report due to lack of participation, according to an announcement today by the Marquette University Center for Supply Chain Management.
, compiled by the Center using ISM Milwaukee’s membership, measures regional manufacturing activity each month by surveying purchasing managers at manufacturing companies in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. It results in the PMI
, or purchasing managers index, which indicates activity growth if it is more than 50, or contraction if it is less than 50.
There is also a national PMI, conducted since 1931, which is surveyed and evaluated separately by the Institute for Supply Management in its ISM Manufacturing Report On Business, which the organization says is “considered by many economists to be the most reliable near-term economic barometer available.” The Milwaukee report, which was first conducted by ISM Milwaukee many years ago and taken over by Marquette in about 2009, gave a regional picture of manufacturing which often differed from the national report.
Purchasing manager participation in the Marquette-ISM Report has progressively decreased over the past three years, and the low sample size means the index can no longer be certified as statistically accurate, according to Doug Fisher, director of the Center.
To his knowledge, there is no other regional report of its kind.
“I think things have to run their cycles and then when the time is right, we’ll reinvigorate it and maybe even do bigger and better,” Fisher said. “Sometimes you don’t realize what you have until you don’t have it, so maybe that’ll be a way to coerce a little more participation.”
The participation decline could be a sign of the times, according to Fisher’s anecdotal evidence. Many employees are taking on more than one job in the new normal economy, and didn’t have time to take the survey.
“A lot of public companies, I guess they get increasingly nervous about participation in these sort of things and make internal restrictions as a result,” he said.