ISM January 2011 Report

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the 18th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 20th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

“January/February sales will be decent, and we see a strong March. We’re cautiously optimistic but reluctant to hire.”Tweet this

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The manufacturing sector grew at a faster rate in January as the PMI registered 60.8 percent, which is its highest level since May 2004 when the index registered 61.4 percent. The continuing strong performance is highlighted as January is also the sixth consecutive month of month-over-month growth in the sector. New orders and production continue to be strong, and employment rose above 60 percent for the first time since May 2004. Global demand is driving commodity prices higher, particularly for energy, metals and chemicals.”

PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 are reporting growth in January, in the following order: Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; Furniture & Related Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The four industries reporting contraction in January are: Textile Mills; Printing & Related Support Activities; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING …

  • “Continued weakness in the dollar is having a negative effect on the components we purchase overseas and increasing our material costs.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “Lead times are increasing significantly, and commodity pricing is starting to increase.” (Chemical Products)
  • “January/February sales will be decent, and we see a strong March. We’re cautiously optimistic but reluctant to hire.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “Business is still slow with no pick-up in sight.” (Furniture & Related Products)
  • “We continue to see unexpected strength in many non-U.S. markets.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE
JANUARY 2011
      
IndexSeries
Index
January
Series
Index
December
Percentage
Point
Change
DirectionRate
of Change
Trend(a)
(Months)
 
PMI60.858.5+2.3GrowingFaster18
New Orders67.862.0+5.8GrowingFaster19
Production63.563.0+0.5GrowingFaster20
Employment61.758.9+2.8GrowingFaster16
Supplier Deliveries58.656.7+1.9SlowingFaster20
Inventories52.451.8+0.6GrowingFaster7
Customers’ Inventories45.540.0+5.5Too LowSlower22
Prices81.572.5+9.0IncreasingFaster19
Backlog of Orders58.047.0+11.0GrowingFrom Contracting1
Exports62.054.5+7.5GrowingFaster19
Imports55.050.5+4.5GrowingFaster17
OVERALL ECONOMY Manufacturing SectorGrowingFaster20
GrowingFaster18

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(a) Number of months moving in current direction

Indexes reflect newly released seasonal adjustment factors.

COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE and IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price

Aluminum (5); Aluminum Products; Brass (2); Brass Products; Caustic Soda (6); Chemicals (4); Copper (6); Copper Based Products (3); Corn (5); Corrugated Containers (11); Diesel (2); Freight Rates; Fuel Oils; High Density Polyethylene (2); Lubricants; Nuts; Packaging Materials; PET (2); Plastics; Plastic Products; Plastic Resins (3); Polyethylene Resin; Polypropylene; Soybean Oil (3); Stainless Steel (3); Stainless Steel Products; Steel (5); Steel Products (2); Steel Surcharges; and Sugar.

Commodities Down in Price

No commodities are reported down in price.

Commodities in Short Supply

Electric Components is the only commodity reported in short supply.

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

JANUARY 2011 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES

PMI

Manufacturing continued to grow in January as the PMI registered 60.8 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points when compared to December’s seasonally adjusted reading of 58.5 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 in excess of 42.5 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the PMI indicates growth for the 20th consecutive month in the overall economy, as well as expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 18th consecutive month. Ore stated, “The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economyindicates that the PMI for January (60.8 percent) corresponds to a 6.4 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annual basis.”

THE LAST 12 MONTHS

     Month          PMI               Month          PMI
 
Jan 201160.8Jul 201055.1
Dec 201058.5Jun 201055.3
Nov 201058.2May 201057.8
Oct 201056.9Apr 201059.6
Sep 201055.3Mar 201060.4
Aug 201055.2Feb 201057.1
Average for 12 months – 57.5High – 60.8Low – 55.1

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New Orders

ISM’s New Orders Index registered 67.8 percent in January, which is an increase of 5.8 percentage points when compared to the seasonally adjusted 62 percent reported in December. This is the 19th consecutive month of growth in the New Orders Index. A New Orders Index above 52.1 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau’s series on manufacturing orders (in constant 2000 dollars).

The 12 industries reporting growth in new orders in January — listed in order — are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; Wood Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The three industries reporting decreases in new orders in January are: Textile Mills; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

New Orders     %Better    %Same    %Worse    Net    Index
 
Jan 2011463618+2867.8
Dec 2010314722+962.0
Nov 2010304525+559.6
Oct 2010363925+1159.9

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Production

ISM’s Production Index registered 63.5 percent in January, which is an increase of 0.5 percentage point from the December reading of 63 percent (seasonally adjusted). An index above 51 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production figures. This is the 20th consecutive month the Production Index has registered above 50 percent.

The 13 industries reporting growth in production during the month of January — listed in order — are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Machinery. The three industries reporting a decrease in production in January are: Textile Mills; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products.

Production     %Better    %Same    %Worse    Net    Index
 
Jan 2011404416+2463.5
Dec 2010305218+1263.0
Nov 2010265420+658.2
Oct 2010374914+2361.4

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Employment

ISM’s Employment Index registered 61.7 percent in January, which is 2.8 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted 58.9 percent reported in December. This is the 16th consecutive month of growth in manufacturing employment. An Employment Index above 50.1 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, 11 reported growth in employment in January in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The two industries reporting a decrease in employment during January are: Chemical Products and Paper Products.

Employment     %Higher    %Same    %Lower    Net    Index
 
Jan 201124697+1761.7
Dec 2010226612+1058.9
Nov 2010256510+1559.0
Oct 2010266410+1657.9

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Supplier Deliveries

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was slower in January as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 58.6 percent, which is 1.9 percentage points higher than the 56.7 percent registered in December (seasonally adjusted). This is the 20th consecutive month the Supplier Deliveries Index has been above 50 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

The eight industries reporting slower supplier deliveries in January — listed in order — are: Primary Metals; Furniture & Related Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; Chemical Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The three industries reporting faster deliveries in January are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Computer & Electronic Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.

Supplier Deliveries    %Slower    %Same    %Faster    Net    Index
 
Jan 201118775+1358.6
Dec 201015787+856.7
Nov 201018775+1358.1
Oct 2010137710+352.3

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Inventories

Manufacturers’ inventories grew for the seventh consecutive month in January, and at a slightly faster rate as the Inventories Index registered 52.4 percent. The index is 0.6 percentage point higher than the seasonally adjusted 51.8 percent reported in December. An Inventories Index greater than 42.7 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 January — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Machinery; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Fabricated Metal Products. The seven industries reporting decreases in inventories in January — listed in order — are: Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Transportation Equipment.

Inventories     %Higher    %Same    %Lower    Net    Index
 
Jan 2011255421+452.4
Dec 2010245224051.8
Nov 2010255817+856.1
Oct 2010275221+653.2

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Customers’ Inventories(b)

The ISM Customers’ Inventories Index registered 45.5 percent in January, 5.5 percentage points higher than in December when the index registered 40 percent. This is the 22nd consecutive month the Customers’ Inventories Index has been below 50 percent, indicating that respondents believe their customers’ inventories are too low at this time.

The three manufacturing industries reporting customers’ inventories as being too high during January are: Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The eight industries reporting customers’ inventories as too low during January — listed in order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; and Chemical Products.

Customers’ Inventories     %
Reporting
  %Too
High
  %About
Right
  %Too
Low
  Net  Index
 
Jan 201163116920-945.5
Dec 20106786428-2040.0
Nov 201077136522-945.5
Oct 201072155827-1244.0

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Prices(b)

The ISM Prices Index registered 81.5 percent in January, 9 percentage points higher than the 72.5 percent reported in December and the highest reading since July 2008. This is the 19th consecutive month the Prices Index has registered above 50 percent. While 64 percent of respondents reported paying higher prices and 1 percent reported paying lower prices, 35 percent of supply executives reported paying the same prices as in December. A Prices Index above 49.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Index of Manufacturers Prices.

The 16 industries reporting paying increased prices during the month of January — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Computer & Electronic Products. Furniture & Related Products is the only manufacturing industry reporting paying lower prices on average during January.

Prices     %Higher    %Same    %Lower    Net    Index
 
Jan 201164351+6381.5
Dec 201048493+4572.5
Nov 201048439+3969.5
Oct 201049447+4271.0

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Backlog of Orders(b)

ISM’s Backlog of Orders Index registered 58 percent in January, which is 11 percentage points higher than the 47 percent reported in December. Of the 83 percent of respondents who reported their backlog of orders, 34 percent reported greater backlogs, 18 percent reported smaller backlogs, and 48 percent reported no change from December.

The 10 industries reporting increased order backlogs in January — listed in order — are: Primary Metals; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Paper Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; and Chemical Products. The four industries reporting decreases in order backlogs during January are: Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Backlog of Orders     %
Reporting
  %Greater  %Same  %Less  Net  Index
 
Jan 201183344818+1658.0
Dec 201084215227-647.0
Nov 201089185626-846.0
Oct 201089234631-846.0

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New Export Orders(b)

ISM’s New Export Orders Index registered 62 percent in January, which is 7.5 percentage points higher than the 54.5 percent reported in December. This is the 19th consecutive month of growth in the New Export Orders Index.

The 11 industries reporting growth in new export orders in January — listed in order — are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The two manufacturing industries reporting a decrease in export orders during January are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products.

New Export Orders     %
Reporting
  %Higher  %Same  %Lower  Net  Index
 
Jan 20118130646+2462.0
Dec 201081216712+954.5
Nov 20108123689+1457.0
Oct 20108230619+2160.5

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Imports(b)

Imports of materials by manufacturers continued to expand in January as the Imports Index registered 55 percent, which is 4.5 percentage points higher than the 50.5 percent reported in December. This is the 17th consecutive month of growth in imports.

The 10 industries reporting growth in imports during the month of January — listed in order — are: Wood Products; Primary Metals; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; and Machinery. The four industries reporting a decrease in imports during January are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

Imports     %
Reporting
  %Higher  %Same  %Lower  Net  Index
 
Jan 201182207010+1055.0
Dec 201082137512+150.5
Nov 201083187012+653.0
Oct 201083157312+351.5

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(b) The Backlog of Orders, Prices, Customers’ Inventories, Imports and New Export Orders Indexes do not meet the accepted criteria for seasonal adjustments.

Buying Policy

Average commitment lead time for Capital Expenditures remained unchanged at 105 days. Average lead time for Production Materials increased 5 days to 57 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies decreased 1 day to 27 days.

Percent Reporting
              
Capital ExpendituresHand-to-
Mouth
30
Days
60
Days
90
Days
6
Months
1
Year+
Average
Days
 
Jan 20112891413279105
Dec 201028915142410105
Nov 201033713152210101
Oct 20102991313279105

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Production Materials  Hand-to-
Mouth
  30
Days
  60
Days
  90
Days
  6
Months
  1
Year+
  Average
Days
 
Jan 2011133830142357
Dec 2010163926135152
Nov 2010173827133253
Oct 2010193328134357

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MRO Supplies  Hand-to-
Mouth
  30
Days
  60
Days
  90
Days
  6
Months
  1
Year+
  Average
Days
 
Jan 20115036931127
Dec 20104441950128
Nov 20105237821022
Oct 20105138920021

View Full Table

About this Report

The data presented herein is obtained from a survey of manufacturing supply managers based on information they have collected within their respective organizations. ISM makes no representation, other than that stated within this release, regarding the individual company data collection procedures. Use of the data is in the public domain and should be compared to all other economic data sources when used in decision-making.

Data and Method of Presentation

The ManufacturingISM Report On Business® is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. Membership of the Manufacturing Business Survey Committee is diversified by NAICS, based on each industry’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). Manufacturing Business Survey Committee responses are divided into the following NAICS code categories: Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Paper Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing (products such as medical equipment and supplies, jewelry, sporting goods, toys and office supplies).

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Imports, Production, Supplier Deliveries, Inventories, Customers’ Inventories, Employment and Prices), this report shows the percentage reporting each response, the net difference between the number of responses in the positive economic direction (higher, better and slower for Supplier Deliveries) and the negative economic direction (lower, worse and faster for Supplier Deliveries), and the diffusion index. Responses are raw data and are never changed. The diffusion index includes the percent of positive responses plus one-half of those responding the same (considered positive).

The resulting single index number for those meeting the criteria for seasonal adjustments (PMI, New Orders, Production, Employment, Supplier Deliveries and Inventories) is then seasonally adjusted to allow for the effects of repetitive intra-year variations resulting primarily from normal differences in weather conditions, various institutional arrangements, and differences attributable to non-moveable holidays. All seasonal adjustment factors are supplied by the U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject annually to relatively minor changes when conditions warrant them. The PMI is a composite index based on the seasonally adjusted diffusion indexes for five of the indicators with equal weights: New Orders, Production, Employment, Supplier Deliveries and Inventories.

Diffusion indexes have the properties of leading indicators and are convenient summary measures showing the prevailing direction of change and the scope of change. A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining. A PMI in excess of 42.5 percent, over a period of time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 42.5 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 42.5 percent is indicative of the strength of the expansion or decline. With some of the indicators within this report, ISM has indicated the departure point between expansion and decline of comparable government series, as determined by regression analysis.

Responses to Buying Policy reflect the percent reporting the current month’s lead time, the approximate weighted number of days ahead for which commitments are made for Production Materials; Capital Expenditures; and Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies, expressed as hand-to-mouth (five days), 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six months (180 days), a year or more (360 days), and the weighted average number of days. These responses are raw data, never revised, and not seasonally adjusted since there is no significant seasonal pattern.

The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is published monthly by the Institute for Supply Management™. The Institute for Supply Management™, established in 1915, is the largest supply management organization in the world as well as one of the most respected. ISM’s mission is to lead the supply management profession through its standards of excellence, research, promotional activities and education. This report has been issued by the association since 1931, except for a four-year interruption during World War II.

The full text version of the ManufacturingISM Report On Business®is posted on ISM’s Web site at www.ism.ws on the first business day of every month after 10:10 a.m. (ET).

The next ManufacturingISM Report On Business® featuring the February 2011 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

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