Ceramic Industry

ISM Manufacturing Report Indicates New Order Growth in May (posted 6/3/09)

June 3, 2009

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in May for the 16th consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the first time following seven months of decline, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was recently issued by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “While employment and inventories continue to decline at a rapid rate and the sector continued to contract during the month, there are signs of improvement,” he said. “May is the first month of growth in the New Orders Index since November 2007, with nine of 18 industries reporting growth. New orders are considered a leading indicator, and the index has risen rapidly after bottoming at 23.1% in December 2008. Also, the Customers’ Inventories Index remained below 50% for the second consecutive month, offering encouragement that supply chains are starting to free themselves of excess inventories as nine industries report their customers’ inventories as ‘too low.’ The prices that manufacturers pay for raw materials and services continued to decline, but at a slower rate than in April.”

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

ISM’s Employment Index registered 34.3% in May, slightly lower than the 34.4% reported in April. This is the 10th consecutive month of decline in employment. An Employment Index above 49.7%, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.

Two of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in employment in May: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The industries that reported decreases in employment during May are: Wood Products; Primary Metals; Furniture & Related Products; Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Petroleum & Coal Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Chemical Products; Machinery; and Computer & Electronic Products.

Additional details are available at www.ism.ws.