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Manufacturing off to a strong start in 2018

PMI Index remains above 59% as employment, new orders and production remain in a growth mode.

Bob Vavra, CFE Media
02/02/2018

Photo by chuttersnap on UnsplashManufacturing started 2018 at the same pace it finished the previous year, according to the monthly PMI Index produced by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

The index slipped 0.2 percentage points in January to 59.1%, still nearly 20% above the growth threshold of 50%. The PMI has been above the 55% level for more than a year, and the January data meant the index is above 58% for six straight months.

The New Orders, Production and Employment components of the PMI all fell slightly in January, but all are well above growth levels and continue to indicate a strong manufacturing, sector, said Timothy R. Fiore, chairman if the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “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,” Fiore said.  “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% during the month of January."

Among the comments from committee members:

Bob Vavra is Content Manager of Plant Engineering at CFE Media.

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