The Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business has released its January 2018 figures. Overall, economic activity in manufacturing remains strong with a PMI of 59.1. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
However, panel members surveyed for the report did express some challenges as summarized by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, in his report:
"Comments from the panel reflect expanding business conditions, with new orders and production maintaining high levels of expansion; employment expanding at a slower rate; order backlogs expanding at a faster rate; and export orders and imports continuing to grow faster in January. Supplier deliveries continued to slow (improving) at a faster rate. Price increases occurred across all industry sectors. The Customers’ Inventories Index indicates levels are still too low. Capital expenditure lead times increased 8 percent during the month of January.”
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth in January in the following order: Textile Mills; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. Four industries reported contraction during the period: Printing & Related Support Activities; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.