Economic activity in the manufacturing sector continued to grow in September as the overall economy grew for the 16th consecutive month after a contraction in April of last year, according to the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
The September Manufacturing PMI registered 61.1%%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from the August reading of 59.9%.
“The New Orders Index registered 66.7%, unchanged from the August reading,” according to Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The Production Index registered 59.4%, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point compared to the August reading of 60%.”
The Prices Index registered 81.2%, up 1.8 percentage points compared to the August figure of 79.4%. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 64.8% 3.4 percentage points lower than the August reading of 68.2%. The Employment Index returned to growth with a reading at 50.2%, 1.2 percentage points higher compared to the August reading of 49%.
The Supplier Deliveries Index came in at 73.4%, an increase of 3.9 percentage points from the August figure of 69.5%. The Inventories Index registered 55.6%, which was 1.4 percentage points higher than the August reading of 54.2%.
The New Export Orders Index registered 53.4%, down 3.2 percentage points compared to the August reading of 56.6%. The Imports Index was 54.9%, an 0.6-percentage point increase from 54.3% in August.
All of the six biggest manufacturing industries — Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Transportation Equipment, in that order — registered moderate to strong growth in September.
“Manufacturing performed well for the 16th straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering month-over-month growth, in spite of continuing unprecedented obstacles and ever-increasing demand,” Fiore said. “Panelists’ companies and their supply chains continue to struggle to meet demand due to difficulties in hiring and a clear cycle of labor turnover, as workers opt for more attractive job opportunities.
“Disruptions from COVID-19, primarily in Southeast Asia, continue to have an impact on many industry sectors. Congestion at ports in China and the U.S. continues to be a headwind, as transportation networks remain stressed. Demand remains at strong levels, despite increasing prices,” says Fiore.
The 17 manufacturing industries reporting growth in September — in the following order — are: Furniture & Related Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Paper Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products. The only industry reporting a decrease in September compared to August was Wood Products.