Friday, October 15, 2010

Manufacturers Will Continue to Expand, but at Slower Pace

(Industry Week)

The U.S. manufacturing sector has held up well during an uneven economic recovery and should continue to expand, but likely at a slower pace, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. The group’s September 2010 composite index fell slightly to 77% from a record high 81% in the June 2010 report.

It marks the fourth straight quarter it has reached 50% or above, the benchmark between contraction and expansion. In year-over-year comparisons, the current index is over twice that of the 38% in the September 2009 survey, signaling an impressive turnaround for industry.

“Although some indexes based on year-over-year comparisons fell slightly, all remain at very high levels,” said Donald A. Norman, Ph.D., MAPI Economist.”The forward looking indexes, based on expectations for annual orders, investment, and R&D spending in the coming calendar year, were all at high levels. Especially encouraging is the continued improvement in the capacity utilization index. The pace of expansion may have slowed, but growth is expected to continue.” Read more here.