Manufacturing shows signs of stablizing
ISM factory index creeps closer to 50 and orders are up for the first time in 2009
The Insitute for Supply Management's factory index continued its climb back toward the expansion number of 50 in May, rising from 40.1 to 42.8. While any number beflow 50 is considered a contraction, the number has steadily increased from a low in the mid-30s last year.
Another encouraging sign is the increase in orders, which rose above the 50 level for the first time in 2009. The new orders measure rose from 47.2 to 51.1, indicating expansion in that sector of the report.
Still, the index stayed below 50 for the 16th straight month.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey