Overall lead times beginning to ease

Lead times for three of the five products that we follow declined between the third and fourth quarters of 1998. Average lead times rose for pumps and special fasteners, but fell for gears, valves, and cylinders.
By Staff January 1, 1999

Lead times for three of the five products that we follow declined between the third and fourth quarters of 1998. Average lead times rose for pumps and special fasteners, but fell for gears, valves, and cylinders. Nevertheless, average 1998 lead times were much higher than in 1997, and shrinking manufacturing payrolls make it unlikely that average lead times will fall much if at all in 1999. LEAD TIMES

Weeks Change, %

November 1998 1997 1998 1999

Gears 5.1 -1.9 6.3 1.3

Pumps 5.1 -5.4 9.7 6.6

Special fasteners 7.2 -3.4 9.2 1.3

Valves 3.2 -6.9 8.1 2.8

Hydraulic cylinders 4.5 24.8 10.4 5.2

Source: Purchasing magazine and Cahners Economics