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September Manufacturing Sector Expanded

October 2, 2017

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September, and the overall economy grew for the 100th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: "The September PMI® registered 60.8 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from the August reading of 58.8 percent. The New Orders Index registered 64.6 percent, an increase of 4.3 percentage points from the August reading of 60.3 percent. The Production Index registered 62.2 percent, a 1.2 percentage point increase compared to the August reading of 61 percent. The Employment Index registered 60.3 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from the August reading of 59.9 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 64.4 percent, a 7.3 percentage point increase from the August reading of 57.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 52.5 percent, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the August reading of 55.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 71.5 percent in September, a 9.5 percentage point increase from the August level of 62, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 19th consecutive month. Comments from the panel reflect expanding business conditions, with new orders, production, employment, order backlogs and export orders all growing in September; as well as, supplier deliveries slowing (improving) and inventories growing at a slower rate during the period. The Customers' Inventories Index remains at low levels."

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 17 reported growth in September, in the following order: Textile Mills; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; Paper Products; Wood Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Petroleum & Coal Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Primary Metals. One industry, Furniture & Related Products, reported contraction in September compared to August.
 

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING …
  • "Hurricanes causing supply chain and pricing issues." (Chemical Products)
  • "Business levels continue [to be] strong; usually by now, a seasonal downturn begins." (Machinery)
  • "Energy sector (oil and gas) continues to be strong. Price of oil appears to be beginning to stabilize." (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • "We've had a very good year and we are forecasting continued strong demand for our product in 2018." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • "Business is strong. However, we are concerned about price increases due to the hurricanes." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
  • "We are closely watching the Houston events as many of our production chemicals are produced in the Gulf region. Some tightening of supply and/or price increases expected." (Paper Products)
  • "Labor shortages continue to haunt operational capacity both at [the] local plant [level] and up and down the supply chain." (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will have significant effects on input costs. Disruption in supply chain. Concerns about transportation." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • "Hurricane Harvey, and now Irma, have impacted the business (building materials). Increasing sales but also causing significant price increases on input raw materials." (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
  • "Lumber prices starting to drop, and log prices starting to increase. Not the best combination." (Wood Products)

MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE

September 2017

 

 

Index

Series
Index

Sep

Series
Index

Aug

Percentage
Point
Change

 

 

Direction

 

Rate of
Change

 

Trend*
(Months)

PMI®

60.8

58.8

+2.0

Growing

Faster

13

New Orders

64.6

60.3

+4.3

Growing

Faster

13

Production

62.2

61.0

+1.2

Growing

Faster

13

Employment

60.3

59.9

+0.4

Growing

Faster

12

Supplier Deliveries

64.4

57.1

+7.3

Slowing

Faster

17

Inventories

52.5

55.5

-3.0

Growing

Slower

2

Customers' Inventories

42.0

41.0

+1.0

Too Low

Slower

3

Prices

71.5

62.0

+9.5

Increasing

Faster

19

Backlog of Orders

58.0

57.5

+0.5

Growing

Faster

8

New Export Orders

57.0

55.5

+1.5

Growing

Faster

19

Imports

54.0

54.5

-0.5

Growing

Slower

8

OVERALL ECONOMY
Manufacturing Sector

Growing

Faster

100

Growing

Faster

13

Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for the New Orders, Production, Employment and Supplier Deliveries Indexes.

*Number of months moving in current direction.

COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE AND IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price
Aluminum (11); Brass; Caustic Soda (3); Copper (2); Corrugate (12); Freight; Gasoline; HDPE; Home Heating Oil; Hydrochloric Acid; LDPE; Lumber (3); Memory — Computer (3); Nickel; Plastic Resins (2); Polyethylene Products; Polypropylene; Polyvinyl Chloride; Solvents (2); Stainless Steel; Steel Scrap — All Types (2); Steel (2); and Steel — Hot Rolled (10).

Commodities Down in Price
None.

Commodities in Short Supply
Capacitors (3); Electric Components (4); Freight; HDPE; Memory — Computer (3); Methacrylates (2); Plastic Resins; Polyvinyl Chloride; Resistors; Synthetic Fibers; and Titanium Dioxide.

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.

SEPTEMBER 2017 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES

PMI®
Manufacturing expanded in September as the PMI® registered 60.8 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from the August reading of 58.8 percent. This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 13th consecutive month and is the highest reading since May 2004, when the index registered 61.4 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

A PMI® above 43.3 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the September PMI® indicates growth for the 100th consecutive month in the overall economy and the 13th straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector. Fiore says, "The past relationship between the PMI® and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI® for January through September (57.1 percent) corresponds to a 4.4 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis. In addition, if the PMI® for September (60.8 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 5.5 percent increase in real GDP annually."

THE LAST 12 MONTHS

Month

PMI®


 

Month

PMI®

Sep 2017

60.8


 

Mar 2017

57.2

Aug 2017

58.8


 

Feb 2017

57.7

Jul 2017

56.3


 

Jan 2017

56.0

Jun 2017

57.8


 

Dec 2016

54.5

May 2017

54.9


 

Nov 2016

53.5

Apr 2017

54.8


 

Oct 2016

52.0

Average for 2017 – 57.1

Average for 12 months – 56.2

High – 60.8

Low – 52.0

New Orders
ISM®'s New Orders Index registered 64.6 percent in September, which is an increase of 4.3 percentage points when compared to the 60.3 percent reported for August, indicating growth in new orders for the 13th consecutive month. "Order input continues at a strong pace, averaging 61.6 percent since December 2016, setting the pace for production activity," says Fiore. A New Orders Index above 52.3 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau's series on manufacturing orders (in constant 2000 dollars).

Fourteen of 18 industries reported growth in new orders in September, listed in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. Three industries — Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities — reported a decrease in new orders in September compared to August.

New Orders

%Better

%Same

%Worse

Net

Index

Sep 2017

35

56

9

+26

64.6

Aug 2017

33

52

15

+18

60.3

Jul 2017

33

55

12

+21

60.4

Jun 2017

38

54

8

+30

63.5

Production
ISM®'s Production Index registered 62.2 percent in September, which is an increase of 1.2 percentage points when compared to the 61.0 percent reported for August, indicating growth in production for the 13th consecutive month. "Production remains at strong growth levels in most industries, in spite of weather conditions and supplier delivery constraints experienced during the period," says Fiore. An index above 51.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board's Industrial Production figures.

The 13 industries reporting growth in production during the month of September — listed in order — are:  Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Paper Products. Two industries — Furniture & Related Products; and Petroleum & Coal Products — reported a decrease in production in September compared to August.

Production

%Better

%Same

%Worse

Net

Index

Sep 2017

31

59

10

+21

62.2

Aug 2017

32

56

12

+20

61.0

Jul 2017

33

54

13

+20

60.6

Jun 2017

34

59

7

+27

62.4

Employment
ISM®'s Employment Index registered 60.3 percent in September, an increase of 0.4 percentage point when compared to the August reading of 59.9 percent. This indicates growth in employment in September for the 12th consecutive month. Employment levels have been expanding since October 2016, and this month's Index reading is the highest since June 2011, when it registered 61.3 percent. An Employment Index above 50.5 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, the 13 reporting employment growth in September — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Wood Products; Machinery; Paper Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Petroleum & Coal Products. The three industries reporting a decrease in employment in September are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Chemical Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Employment

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Net

Index

Sep 2017

24

69

7

+17

60.3

Aug 2017

26

67

7

+19

59.9

Jul 2017

24

66

10

+14

55.2

Jun 2017

28

61

11

+17

57.2

Supplier Deliveries
The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was slower in September, as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 64.4 percent. This is 7.3 percentage points higher than the 57.1 percent reported for August. This is the 17th straight month of slowing supplier deliveries, and the index achieved its highest level since July 2004, when it registered 64.5 percent. A reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries, while a reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

The 14 industries reporting slower supplier deliveries in September — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Chemical Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Transportation Equipment. One industry, Furniture & Related Products, reported faster deliveries in September compared to August.

Supplier Deliveries

%Slower

%Same

%Faster

Net

Index

Sep 2017

32

64

4

+28

64.4

Aug 2017

18

78

4

+14

57.1

Jul 2017

19

74

7

+12

55.4

Jun 2017

17

78

5

+12

57.0

Inventories*
The Inventories Index registered 52.5 percent in September, which is a decrease of 3 percentage points when compared to the 55.5 percent reported for August, indicating raw materials inventories grew in September compared to August, but at a slower rate. An Inventories Index greater than 42.9 percent, over time, is generally consistent with expansion in the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) figures on overall manufacturing inventories (in chained 2000 dollars).

The nine industries reporting higher inventories in September — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; and Petroleum & Coal Products. The six industries reporting lower inventories in September — listed in order —  are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Paper Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Inventories

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Net

Index

Sep 2017

22

61

17

+5

52.5

Aug 2017

22

67

11

+11

55.5

Jul 2017

19

62

19

0

50.0

Jun 2017

16

66

18

-2

49.0

Customers' Inventories*
ISM®'s Customers' Inventories Index registered 42 percent in September, which is 1 percentage point higher than the 41 percent reported for August, indicating that customers' inventory levels are still considered too low in September. "The index remains at a low level, indicating that downstream customers continue to operate at a high level of demand that production cannot fully satisfy," says Fiore.

Two manufacturing industries — Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Furniture & Related Products — reported customers' inventories as being too high during the month of September. The 10 industries reporting customers' inventories as too low during September — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Wood Products; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. Six industries reported no change in customer inventories in September compared to August.

Customers'
Inventories

%
Reporting

%Too
High

%About
Right

%Too
Low

 

Net

 

Index

Sep 2017

58

6

72

22

-16

42.0

Aug 2017

55

5

72

23

-18

41.0

Jul 2017

58

10

78

12

-2

49.0

Jun 2017

52

16

69

15

+1

50.5

Prices*
The ISM® Prices Index registered 71.5 percent in September, an increase of 9.5 percentage points from  the August level of 62 percent indicating an increase in raw materials prices for the 19th consecutive month. In September, 45 percent of respondents reported paying higher prices, 2 percent reported paying lower prices, and 53 percent of supply executives reported paying the same prices as in August. The Prices Index is at its highest level since May 2011, when it registered 76.5 percent. Fiore comments, "The Business Survey Committee noted price increases in many areas, including metals (steel and aluminum); food ingredients; electronic components; lumber and wood products; basic chemicals; and plastics. The ongoing impacts from Hurricane Harvey are still largely unknown, and many respondents noted this uncertainty." A Prices Index above 52.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index for Intermediate Materials.

All 18 industries reported paying increased prices for raw materials in September, in the following order: Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Paper Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities.

Prices

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Net

Index

Sep 2017

45

53

2

+43

71.5

Aug 2017

30

64

6

+24

62.0

Jul 2017

33

58

9

+24

62.0

Jun 2017

27

56

17

+10

55.0

Backlog of Orders*
ISM®'s Backlog of Orders Index registered 58 percent in September, an increase of 0.5 percentage point from the 57.5 percent reported for August, indicating growth in order backlogs for the eighth consecutive month. Of the 89 percent of respondents who reported their backlog of orders, 29 percent reported greater backlogs, 13 percent reported smaller backlogs, and 58 percent reported no change from August.

The 12 industries reporting growth in order backlogs in September — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Machinery; Petroleum & Coal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The two industries reporting a decrease in order backlogs during September are: Textile Mills; and Furniture & Related Products.

Backlog of
Orders

%
Reporting

 

%Greater

 

%Same

 

%Less

 

Net

 

Index

Sep 2017

89

29

58

13

+16

58.0

Aug 2017

90

28

59

13

+15

57.5

Jul 2017

88

25

60

15

+10

55.0

Jun 2017

91

29

56

15

+14

57.0

New Export Orders*
ISM®'s New Export Orders Index registered 57 percent in September, an increase of 1.5 percentage points when compared to the 55.5 percent reported for August, indicating growth in new export orders for the 19th consecutive month.

The nine industries reporting growth in new export orders in September — listed in order — are: Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. Two industries — Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities — reported a decrease in new export orders. Seven industries reported no change in export orders in September compared to August.

New Export
Orders

%
Reporting

 

%Higher

 

%Same

 

%Lower

 

Net

 

Index

Sep 2017

78

18

78

4

+14

57.0

Aug 2017

81

16

79

5

+11

55.5

Jul 2017

79

20

75

5

+15

57.5

Jun 2017

80

22

75

3

+19

59.5

Imports*
ISM®'s Imports Index registered 54 percent in September, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point when compared to the 54.5 percent reported for August, indicating that imports are growing in September for the eighth consecutive month but at a slightly slower rate compared to August.

The eight industries reporting growth in imports during the month of September — listed in order — are: Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; and Fabricated Metal Products. Four industries — Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products — reported a decrease in imports during September compared to August.

Imports

%
Reporting

 

%Higher

 

%Same

 

%Lower

 

Net

 

Index

Sep 2017

83

14

80

6

+8

54.0

Aug 2017

83

16

77

7

+9

54.5

Jul 2017

82

17

78

5

+12

56.0

Jun 2017

84

14

80

6

+8

54.0

*The Inventories, Customers' Inventories, Prices, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders and Imports Indexes do not meet the accepted criteria for seasonal adjustments.

Buying Policy
Average commitment lead time for Capital Expenditures declined in September to 142 days from 143 days. Average lead time for Production Materials increased by 1 day to 62 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies decreased by 1 day to 35 days.

Percent Reporting


 

Capital
Expenditures

Hand-to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1 Year+

Average
Days

Sep 2017

20

8

11

15

26

20

142

Aug 2017

19

7

12

17

25

20

143

Jul 2017

19

8

9

18

25

21

146

Jun 2017

20

7

11

17

23

22

146


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production
Materials

Hand-to-
Mouth

30 Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1 Year+

Average
Days

Sep 2017

11

34

29

18

6

2

62

Aug 2017

12

38

24

18

6

2

61

Jul 2017

12

35

27

18

7

1

60

Jun 2017

13

39

20

20

7

1

59


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MRO Supplies

Hand-to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1 Year+

Average
Days

Sep 2017

33

39

19

7

2

0

35

Aug 2017

31

42

18

6

3

0

36

Jul 2017

32

43

14

9

2

0

35

Jun 2017

34

42

14

7

3

0

34

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