U.S. manufacturing outlook improves in September

National index returns to positive territory

manufacturing activity

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

After a one-month dip, the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI returned to positive territory in September, coming in at 51.5 percent.

manufacturing activity

The national index is based on a survey of supply executives and a reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing industry.

The August index registered at 49.4 percent, suggesting contraction in the industry.

September’s report showed improvements in a number of areas, including a 6 percentage point jump in new orders to 55.1 percent and a 3.2 point jump in production to 52.8 percent. Employment improved by 1.4 points, but was still contracting at 49.7 percent. Order backlogs showed a similar picture, increasing by 4 points, but remaining below 50 at 49.5 percent.

Respondents were generally positive in their comments on the industry. A respondent in chemical products said domestic and international sales were both up slightly, while a fabricated metal products respondent said sales were increasing and the outlook was positive for the rest of the year.

A plastics and rubber products respondent said demand was increasing after a lackluster month and some customers were pre-buying ahead of expected price increases. A respondent from petroleum and coal products said that oil prices had increased somewhat but remained at low levels, affecting revenue and purchasing power.

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page.

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