April PMI at same level as March

The Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers' Index registered at 51.5% for April, which was the same level it was at in March as the growth in orders was offset by a decline in employment.

05/01/2015


Growth in new orders and production and general overall growth in the manufacturing industry helped offset declines in employment and raw inventories as the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stayed above 50% for the 28th consecutive month. The PMI finished above the overall economic growth level of 43.2% in April, making it 71 straight months the index has finished above that threshold.

The April PMI was at 51.5%, which was the same level as March. This is the first time the PMI has not fallen since December 2014. The dock workers' strike on the West Coast during the winter had sent the index down during the Winter after a bullish 2014. Comments from committee members, while very positive overall, indicate that they are still feeling the impact of the dock workers' slowdown as well as the turbulent global economy. 

The indices were a mixed bag in April with New Orders jumping 1.7 percentage points to 53.5% and the Production Index increasing 2.2 percentage points to 56%, which signal strong growth. However, the employment index dropped 1.7 percentage points to 48.3% and raw materials dropped two percentage points to 49.5%.

"While the March and April PMI were equal, both registering 51.5%, 15 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in April while only 10 industries reported growth in March, indicating a broader distribution of growth in April among the 18 industries," said Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM's Business Survey Committee, in a statement.

Among the comments from committee members are:

  • "Low energy costs continue to help the bottom line." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • "Automotive industry is still very strong." (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • "Business holding relatively flat in North America, softening a bit globally." (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Foreign Exchange is reducing revenue, but volume has remained consistent." (Chemical Products)
  • "International shipments still being delayed by the strikes at ports on the West Coast." (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • "Production and orders remain strong and steady." (Primary Metals)
  • "Business conditions are good, with slowly rising demand for our products." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • "Labor, both skilled and unskilled, remains difficult to find qualified individuals." (Furniture & Related Products)
  • "Continuing to expedite shipments through Vancouver due to ongoing port delays." (Machinery)
  • "Customers perceive that raw materials prices have bottomed out so are now releasing orders." (Plastics & Rubber Products)


Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me