Manufacturing report shows continued weakness

Optimism dwindles and so does manufacturing orders

05/02/2008


The March and April reports on manufacturing showed in charts and graphs what most manufacturing professionals already knew. The manufacturing sector is continuing to have both its output and outlook battered by struggles with energy and economic issues.

April’s report from PricewaterhouseCoopers showed dwindling optimism in the consultancy’s quarterly Manufacturing Barometer. Only 12% of senior executives were optimistic about the U.S. economy over the next year. That’s a drop from 57% just one year ago, and from 29% just last quarter

“We knew industrial manufacturers were feeling the pressures of the economic downturn; however, the reality of the situation really hit us when we saw this quarter’s findings,” said Barry Misthal, partner and industrial manufacturing sector leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

More than two-thirds of executives cited oil and energy prices as a potential barrier to growth over the next 12 months.

The one bit of brighter news was that the weaker dollar offered opportunities for industrial manufacturers on a global basis.

For full details of the report, go to www.pwc.com/manufacturing.

They also tried to find some good news in the quarterly Manufacturing Alliance/MAPI report of manufacturing, but there wasn’t a lot to find.

The composite index dropped almost 13% in March, from 64 to 57, matching the double-digit losses found in many of the sectors that make up the report. While any score above 50 indicates an increase in the next two quarters, the drop put the index at its lowest level since December 2006.

The U.S. investment index, which asks about capital investments, dropped from 74% to 62% in March, while the order backlog index fell from 67% to 55%. The shipments index also dropped by 12 percentage points, from 74% in December to 62% in March.

The quarterly orders index, which compared new orders for the first quarter of 2008 with the same quarter one year ago, fell to 58% from 69% in 2007, and the inventory index fell to its lowest level since March 2004, dropping to 54%. MAPI analysts said the drop in inventory indicates manufacturers are “reining in inventory growth.”

More details of the study can be found at www.mapi.net





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.