Good news/ bad news: Manufacturing growth resumes, but Employment shrinks in Manufacturing  for first time since September 2009…

“Manufacturing expanded in June as the PMI™ registered 50.9 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points when compared to May’s reading of 49 percent. June’s reading of 50.9 percent reflects the resumption of growth in the manufacturing sector for 2013, following the only month of contraction for the year in May.”- Bradley Holcomb, Chairman of the Institute for Supply Management Business Survey Committee.

Graph Courtesy Calculated Risk Blog
Graph Courtesy Calculated Risk Blog

Precision machined products are widely used key components used in a host of manufactured and durable goods. Precision machined products are a submarket of Fabricated Metals, which is tracked in this ISM Report on Manufacturing.

“A PMI™ in excess of 42.2 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the June PMI™ indicates growth for the 49th consecutive month in the overall economy, and indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector following one month of contraction. Holcomb stated, “The past relationship between the PMI™ and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI™ for January through June (51.5 percent) corresponds to a 2.9 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis. In addition, if the PMI™ for June (50.9 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 2.7 percent increase in real GDP annually.” (PMI™ stands for Purchasing Managers Index.)

ISM’s Production Index registered 53.4 percent in June, which is an increase of 4.8 percentage points when compared to the 48.6 percent reported in May.

How do your  June shipments compare to this benchmark?

The ISM report showed  11 industries reporting growth in production during the month of June — listed in order —  Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Furniture & Related Products; Paper Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. The three industries reporting a decrease in production in June are: Chemical Products; Machinery; and Transportation Equipment.

We are glad to see manufacturing back in growth mode, however, we were not pleased with this month’s first sign of contraction in employment.

ISM’s Employment Index registered 48.7 percent in June, which is 1.4 percentage points lower than the 50.1 percent reported in May. This month’s reading indicates contraction in employment for the first time since September 2009, when the index registered 47.8 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.”


We are betting dollars to donuts (remember when there used to be a real difference between dollars and donuts?) that the  slowdown in hiring is related to employers’ concerns over Affordable Care Act.

Dollars to Donuts

Calculated Risk

The December ISM Manufacturing Report is out, and the headline story is good news.

But the full report is a bit of a mixed bag for our industry.

Manufacturing is back in expansion mode as the Purchasing Manager’s Index, “‘The PMI™,’ registered 50.7 percent, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from November’s reading of 49.5 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for only the third time in the last seven months. This month’s PMI™ reading moved manufacturing off its low point for 2012 in November.” – ISM Report Dec 2012


A closer reading however notes that “The nine industries reporting contraction in December — listed in order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Apparel, Leather & Allied Products.”ISM Report Dec 2012

Precision machining is an industry of Fabricated Metal Products.  Four of our most important market segments were also in decline in December:  Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The market we see is not as rosy as the headline.

In addition, the New Orders component of the survey, at 50.3, went unchanged.  This suggests that new orders, the source of our business’s future production, was virtually unchanged in December. The backlog of orders component,  at 48.5,indicates a small contraction of the orders book.

Graph courtesy of Calculated Risk Blog

“The PMI registered 53.4 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from February’s reading of 52.4 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 32nd consecutive month. The Production Index increased 3 percentage points from February’s reading of 55.3 percent to 58.3 percent, and the Employment Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 56.1 percent. Of the 18 industries included in the survey, 15 are experiencing overall growth.”

This is what all these numbers mean...

Primary Metals and Fabricated Metals are two of the industries showing continued growth.

Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Oil and Fuel were all reported to be up in price; Steel was also reported lower in price in certain markets.

PMPA’s February Business Trends Report showed respondents sales to be up 11% over same month last year. Average length of first shift for february was 43.7 hours- 62 % of shops reporting were scheduling more than 40 hour shifts.

The PMPA Business Trends Report confirms the ISM findings regarding the continuing growth / expansion of manufacturing. Like the ISM Manufacturing PMI Report, and our Fabricated Metal market sector, the precision machining industry is maintaining a growing sales base, positive trends, and increased employment.

That’s how we see it.

How does it look where you are?

ISM Report March 2012


Just the top five manufacturing sectors shown below contributed 239,900 net new jobs in 2011 year to date through November  according to BLS data.

Leading the way. Data through November.

Precision Machine shops like PMPA members are impacted as follows :

Transportation Equipment: This sector makes up a large share of precision machined industry shipments.

Fabricated Metals: 1)  Precision machining is a subset of Fabricated Metals. From our conversations with shop owners almost every shop is looking for skilled people for immediate work; 2) Many of our products are sold to customers that are also considered Fabricated Metals.

Machinery: We both purchase machinery and make components that are critical to the manufacture of machinery and equipment.

Motor Vehicles and Parts: This is traditionally the largest market served by the precision machining industry.

Primary Metals: Our suppliers of the majority of raw materials machined.

Semiconductors, Computers : Yep. We make parts for these as well as equipment used in their manufacture.

Beverages and Tobacco: That fountain drink you purchased  probably was dispensed through nozzles and fittings made by a precision machine shop.

Chemicals: We make important sensor, fitting, and pressure vessel components for theis Better things for better living industry.

Bottom Line: almost a quarter million net new manufacturing jobs have been added so far in 2011 in manufacturing areas directly related to proecision machining.

Manufacturing, not politicians, is leading this recovery in jobs.

Soda Fountain