While I was sunning myself at a Southern coastal beach, the folks at Institute for Supply Management published the July PMI number.

A great time to go to the beach! And to be in Manufacturing.
A great time to go to the beach! And to be in Manufacturing.

It was the highest posted for the year- “July’s reading of 55.4 percent reflects the sixth month of growth, and the highest overall PMI™ reading, in the first seven months of 2013. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.ISM July 2013

Frankly, we were a bit surprised- our Business Trends Report for June 2013 was down 8 points. But that was June.

But reading the fine print gives us something more than a strengthening economy to encourage us.

Here’s what the ISM report had  to say about fabricated parts (what we make!)-

Commodities in Short Supply: Fabricated Parts is the only commodity listed in short supply.”

So even if our Business Trends Report for July (and your shop’s shipments numbers) are down in July, contrary to the ISM PMI number- it’s OK-

The parts that we make are apparently in short supply, and THAT is a leading, not lagging indicator…