Manufacturing in the various sectors of metals and metallics is continuing to do well, according to the most recent Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report on Business.
As we mentioned last month, the group measures how well each sector is doing using components such as PMI, a composite index based on five other indexes: New Orders (seasonally adjusted), Production (seasonally adjusted), Employment (seasonally adjusted), Supplier Deliveries (seasonally adjusted), and Inventories. The organization follows 18 industries such as Fabricated Metal Products and Primary Metals.
Let us give you a quick overview of some highlights of the report. In particular, survey respondents from the Fabricated Metal Products industry reported that first quarter business was still strong, which is good news.
Respondents did note, however, that some metal and metallic commodities were up in price, such as aluminum, molybdenum, nickel, and stainless steel. On the other hand, some metal and metallic commodities were down in price, such as copper and hot rolled steel. Steel itself, however, was reported to be both up and down in price by different respondents. On the whole, respondents in both Primary Metals and Fabricated Metal Products reported paying lower prices.
Both Fabricated Metal Products and Primary Metals featured growth in March, though not as strongly as in industries such as Textile Mills and Transportation Equipment. However, they were stronger than Computer & Electronic Products and Chemical Products. In addition, three industries actually reported a decrease in new orders in March: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.
In Production, both Fabricated Metal Products and Primary Metals grew. In fact, Primary Metals was second overall, while Fabricated Metal Products was fourth, while first and third were Paper Products and Plastic & Rubber Products, respectively.
In terms of Employment, Fabricated Metal Products did grow in March, while Primary Metals suffered a decrease in employment. Again, Fabricated Metal Products was kind of in the middle of the pack as far as rate of employment growth, with Printing & Related Support Activities growing the most.
Fabricated Metal Products also featured slower deliveries from suppliers, though Primary Metals featured no change. The good news, though, is that it wasn’t as slow as in February, when bad weather hampered deliveries – 54 percent in March, compared with 58.5 percent in February.
In inventories, Fabricated Metal Products featured higher manufacturing inventories and lower customer inventories. Primary Metals showed a decrease in manufacturing inventories, and no change in customer inventories.
Overall, good news for manufacturing! Here’s to next month!
Steve Leavitt, GM of U.S. Cloud Solutions for Exact