Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September, and the overall economy grew for the fifth consecutive month — after dipping significantly due to the coronavirus — say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
The September PMI registered 55.4%, down 0.6 percentage point from the August reading of 56%. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the fifth month in a row after a contraction in April, which ended a period of 131 consecutive months of growth. The New Orders Index registered 60.2%, a decrease of 7.4 percentage points from the August reading of 67.6%. The Production Index registered 61%, down 2.3 percentage points compared to the August reading of 63.3%. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 55.2%, 0.6 percentage point higher compared to the August reading of 54.6%. The Employment Index registered 49.6%, an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the August reading of 46.4%. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 59%, up 0.8 percentage point from the August figure of 58.2%.
The Inventories Index registered 47.1%, 2.7 percentage points higher than the August reading of 44.4%. The Prices Index registered 62.8%, up 3.3 percentage points compared to the August reading of 59.5%. The New Export Orders Index registered 54.3%, an increase of 1 percentage point compared to the August reading of 53.3%. The Imports Index registered 54%, a 1.6-percentage point decrease from the August reading of 55.6%.
“Manufacturing performed well in the month with demand, consumption and inputs registering growth indicative of a normal expansion cycle,” said Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “While certain industry sectors are experiencing difficulties that will continue in the near term, the manufacturing community as a whole has learned to conduct business effectively and deal with the variables imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth in September, in the following order: Paper Products; Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; and Transportation Equipment. The four industries reporting contraction in September are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Primary Metals.