NAPM report shows manufacturing growth moderating
The most recent "Report on Business" from the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) showed economic activity in the nation's manufacturing sector growing at a slower rate in May than in April.
The most recent "Report on Business" from the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) showed economic activity in the nation's manufacturing sector growing at a slower rate in May than in April. Nevertheless, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) has now been above the "50" mark that represents an expanding manufacturing sector for 22 consecutive months. The PMI fell to 51.4 in May from 52.9 in April. Still, of the 20 manufacturing industry sectors surveyed, 14 reported that conditions had improved over the month.
The NAPM monthly report also provides valuable information on supply and price conditions for major commodities purchased by manufacturers. Steel plate was the only commodity reported to be in short supply. Commodities with the longest running reports of price increases were corrugated containers, caustic soda, paper, and steel. A larger group of commodities was reported by purchasing managers to be lower in price in May than at the beginning of the year, including aluminum, copper, plastic resins, natural gas, methanol, and semiconductors.
In summary, the May NAPM "Report on Business" painted a picture of a healthy economy that is continuing to grow, but at a more moderate clip than the 4.8% gain in GDP registered over the first quarter of 1998.
Analysts at NAPM who study the historical relationship between PMI movements and trends in overall economic growth say that if the May PMI of 51.4 turned out to be the annual average for 1998, this would correspond to a 2.7% increase in real GDP -- a number consistent with the expectation that most economists have for the U.S. economy over the balance of this year.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.