ISM’s Purchasing Managers’ Index Rebounds to 61.3%

  • New Orders, Production, and Employment Growing
  • Supplier Deliveries Slowing at Faster Rate; Backlog Growing
  • Raw Materials Inventories Growing; Customers’ Inventories Too Low
  • Prices Increasing at Slower Rate; Exports and Imports Growing

 

 

The report was issued by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The August PMI® registered 61.3 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the July reading of 58.1 percent. The New Orders Index registered 65.1 percent, an increase of 4.9 percentage points from the July reading of 60.2 percent. The Production Index registered 63.3 percent, a 4.8-percentage point increase compared to the July reading of 58.5 percent. The Employment Index registered 58.5 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from the July reading of 56.5 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 64.5 percent, a 2.4-percentage point increase from the July reading of 62.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 55.4 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the July reading of 53.3 percent. The Prices Index registered 72.1 percent in August, a 1.1-percentage point decrease from the July reading of 73.2 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 30th consecutive month

“Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength. Demand remains strong, with the New Orders Index at 60 percent or above for the 16th straight month, and the Customers’ Inventories Index remaining low. The Backlog of Orders Index continued to expand, at higher levels compared to the previous month. Consumption improved, with production and employment continuing to expand, at higher levels compared to July, despite shortages in labor and materials. Inputs (expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports) expanded strongly due to continuing supply chain inefficiencies, positive increases in inventory levels and a slight easing of imports. Lead-time extensions, steel and aluminum disruptions, supplier labor issues, and transportation difficulties continue, but at more manageable levels.

 

“Export orders expanded at stable levels. Prices pressure continues, but the index softened for the third straight month and remains above 70. Demand is still robust, but the nation’s employment resources and supply chains continue to struggle. Respondents are again overwhelmingly concerned about tariff-related activity, including how reciprocal tariffs will impact company revenue and current manufacturing locations. Panelists are actively evaluating how to respond to these business changes, given the uncertainty,” says Fiore.

 

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in August, in the following order: Computer & Electronic Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Furniture & Related Products; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities. The two industries reporting contraction in August are: Wood Products; and Primary Metals.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

 

  • “Busy for new orders, but the cost of raw material chemicals keeps going up.” (Chemical Products)
  • “We have seen a slight uptick in international business. Suppliers do not seem to know how to handle the recently imposed tariffs. Most are waiting to re-evaluate potential price increases until September.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “Generally high levels of demand continue, and [we are] planning for this elevated rate through the rest of the year.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “Suppliers appear to be bracing us for cost increases, given increased talk of tariffs and inflation. We are budgeting for 2019 accordingly.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • “The toughest thing we deal with is the unknown. Dealing with tariffs on steel purchases and not knowing if or when they will end makes planning difficult. We are entering the period when we begin our pricing negotiations for next year and will likely treat the tariffs as if they will be here for the entire year. It’s challenging, but not insurmountable.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “Business is positive, new equipment sales and inquiries are strong, and the parts business is strong. Raw material costs, especially steel, appear to be leveling off. Cost of manufactured components has also leveled off. Most suppliers are willing and able to suppress cost increases. Tariff impacts are still a concern.” (Machinery)
  • “Business continues to be strong. We anticipate growth in the next few months.” (Plastics & Rubber Products)
  • “Business conditions are strong. Orders are up. Purchase prices are up. Unemployment is down.” (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • “Continued strong demand has most locations in a sold-out market, putting pressure on our facilities to produce and have strong uptime. Purchasing is under pressure to provide critical parts in a market where lead times have increased.” (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
  • “Steel tariffs and their threats are putting upward pressure on downstream materials.” (Petroleum & Coal Products)

 

MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE

August 2018

 

 

Index

Series Index

Aug

Series Index

Jul

Percentage

Point

Change

 

 

Direction

 

Rate of Change

 

Trend* (Months)

PMI®

61.3 58.1 +3.2 Growing Faster 24
New Orders 65.1 60.2 +4.9 Growing Faster 32

Production

63.3 58.5 +4.8 Growing Faster 24
Employment 58.5 56.5 +2.0 Growing Faster 23
Supplier Deliveries 64.5 62.1 +2.4 Slowing Faster 23
Inventories 55.4 53.3 +2.1 Growing Faster 8
Customers’ Inventories 41.0 39.4 +1.6 Too Low Faster 23
Prices 72.1 73.2 -1.1 Increasing Slower 30
Backlog of Orders 57.5 54.7 +2.8 Growing Faster 19
New Export Orders 55.2 55.3 -0.1 Growing Slower 30
Imports 53.9 54.7 -0.8 Growing Slower 19
OVERALL ECONOMY Growing Faster 112
Manufacturing Sector Growing Faster 24
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