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May 2008 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

FOR RELEASE: June 2, 2008


Contact: Rose Marie Goupil
ISM, Media Relations
Tempe, Arizona
800/888-6276, Ext. 3015
E-mail: rgoupil@ism.ws


PMI at 49.6%

DO NOT CONFUSE THIS NATIONAL REPORT with the various regional purchasing reports released across the country. The national report's information reflects the entire United States, while the regional reports contain primarily regional data from their local vicinities. Also, the information in the regional reports is not used in calculating the results of the national report. The information compiled in this report is for the month of May 2008.

Production Growing
New Orders, Employment and Inventories Contracting
Supplier Deliveries Slowing

(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in May, while the overall economy grew for the 79th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector failed to grow in May as the PMI fell below 50 percent for the fourth consecutive month. In relative terms, May was down slightly from April as the rate of contraction in manufacturing slowed. The Production Index was a bright spot as it moved above 50 percent after declining for two months. Manufacturers find themselves caught between rising costs and weakening demand in many industries. Exports continue strong due to the weak dollar — without the weak dollar the story would be much more negative in manufacturing."

PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY

The seven industries reporting growth in May — listed in order — are: Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Primary Metals; Paper Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Fabricated Metal Products. The industries reporting contraction in May are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Wood Products; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Furniture & Related Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING ...
  • "Higher prices, tighter supply, longer lead times, shrinking inventory (same as last month)." (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Just two months ago we were cautiously optimistic, but now sales inquiries are coming in at a snail's pace." (Machinery)
  • "Ethanol-driven agricultural commodity increases continue to pose major hurdles." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • "Pricing is skyrocketing for chemicals." (Chemical Products)
  • "Current forecast flat for Q2 through Q4 after dip in Q1." (Computer & Electronic Products)
MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE
MAY 2008


Index
Series
Index
May
Series
Index
April
Percentage
Point
Change


Direction
Rate
of
Change

Trend*
(Months)
PMI 49.6 48.6 +1.0 Contracting Slower 4
New Orders 49.7 46.5 +3.2 Contracting Slower 6
Production 51.2 49.1 +2.1 Growing From Contracting 1
Employment 45.5 45.4 +0.1 Contracting Slower 7
Supplier Deliveries 53.7 54.0 -0.3 Slowing Slower 11
Inventories 48.0 48.1 -0.1 Contracting Faster 25
Customers' Inventories 47.0 45.0 +2.0 Too Low Slower 2
Prices 87.0 84.5 +2.5 Increasing Faster 17
Backlog of Orders 46.0 51.5 -5.5 Contracting From Growing 1
Exports 59.5 57.5 +2.0 Growing Faster 66
Imports 49.5 48.0 +1.5 Contracting Slower 4
             
OVERALL ECONOMY Growing Faster 79
Manufacturing Sector Contracting Slower 4

*Number of months moving in current direction.


COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE and IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price

Acrylics; Additives; Adhesives; Aluminum (4); Aluminum Castings; Aluminum Extrusions (3); Caustic Soda (3); Chemicals; Copper Laden Products (3); Copper Wire; Corn (2); Corn Based Products; Corrugated Containers; Crude Oil; Diesel Fuel (3); Freight; Fuel Oil — #2; Fuel Surcharges (3); Gasoline (2); High Density Polyethylene (2); Natural Gas (7); Petroleum Based Products; Phosphoric Acid; Plastic — Molded Products; Polypropylene (2); Resins (2); Scrap Metal; Soybean Oil (2); Stainless Steel; Steel (5); Steel — Structural; and Sulfuric Acid (7).

Commodities Down in Price

Methanol (2) and Zinc are the only commodities reported down in price.

Commodities in Short Supply

Caustic Soda (3); Steel (2); and Sulfuric Acid.

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.



MAY 2008 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


PMI

Manufacturing failed to grow for the fourth consecutive month in May as the PMI registered 49.6 percent, 1 percentage point higher than the 48.6 percent reported in April. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

A PMI in excess of 41.1 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the PMI indicates the overall economy is growing and the manufacturing sector is contracting at this time. Ore stated, "The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through May (49.2 percent) corresponds to a 2.5 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, if the PMI for May (49.6 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 2.7 percent increase in real GDP annually."

THE LAST 12 MONTHS
Month PMI   Month PMI
May 2008 49.6   Nov 2007 50.0
Apr 2008 48.6   Oct 2007 50.4
Mar 2008 48.6   Sep 2007 50.5
Feb 2008 48.3   Aug 2007 51.2
Jan 2008 50.7   Jul 2007 52.3
Dec 2007 48.4   Jun 2007 53.4
Average for 12 months — 50.2
High — 53.4
Low — 48.3

New Orders

ISM's New Orders Index registered 49.7 percent in May, 3.2 percentage points higher than the 46.5 percentage points registered in April. A New Orders Index above 51.6 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau's series on manufacturing orders (in constant 2000 dollars).

Eight industries reported increases during May: Computer & Electronic Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Primary Metals; Paper Products; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Transportation Equipment. The industries that reported decreases in May are: Textile Mills; Wood Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Plastics & Rubber Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities.

New
Orders
%
Better
%
Same
%
Worse

Net

Index
May 2008 25 52 23 +2 49.7
Apr 2008 26 48 26 0 46.5
Mar 2008 25 50 25 0 46.5
Feb 2008 27 48 25 +2 49.1

Production

ISM's Production Index increased to 51.2 percent in May, an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the 49.1 percent reported in April. An index above 49.9 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board's Industrial Production figures.

Of the industries reporting in May, nine registered growth: Computer & Electronic Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Petroleum & Coal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Fabricated Metal Products. The industries that reported decreased production in May are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Transportation Equipment; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities.


Production
%
Better
%
Same
%
Worse

Net

Index
May 2008 24 59 17 +7 51.2
Apr 2008 28 50 22 +6 49.1
Mar 2008 20 60 20 0 48.7
Feb 2008 25 52 23 +2 50.7

Employment

ISM's Employment Index registered 45.5 percent in May, which is an increase of 0.1 percentage point when compared to the 45.4 percent reported in April. An Employment Index above 49.5 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.

The five industries reporting growth in employment during May are: Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Paper Products. The industries that reported decreases in employment during May are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Furniture & Related Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.


Employment
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
May 2008 17 63 20 -3 45.5
Apr 2008 12 72 16 -4 45.4
Mar 2008 15 70 15 0 49.2
Feb 2008 10 74 16 -6 46.0

Supplier Deliveries

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations continued to slow in May, as the Supplier Deliveries Index decreased 0.3 percentage point to 53.7 percent from the 54 percent registered in April. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

The six industries reporting slower supplier deliveries in May are: Textile Mills; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The industries reporting faster deliveries in May are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Computer & Electronic Products.

Supplier
Deliveries
%
Slower
%
Same
%
Faster

Net

Index
May 2008 14 81 5 +9 53.7
Apr 2008 10 88 2 +8 54.0
Mar 2008 11 85 4 +7 53.6
Feb 2008 6 87 7 -1 50.1

Inventories

Manufacturers' inventories contracted in May as the Inventories Index registered 48 percent, which is 0.1 percentage point lower than the 48.1 percent reported in April. This is the 25th consecutive month of inventory liquidation. An Inventories Index greater than 42.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with expansion in the Bureau of Economic Analysis' (BEA) figures on overall manufacturing inventories (in chained 2000 dollars).

The six industries reporting higher inventories in May are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; and Fabricated Metal Products. The industries that reported decreases in May are: Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Furniture & Related Products; Food Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.


Inventories
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
May 2008 19 58 23 -4 48.0
Apr 2008 16 66 18 -2 48.1
Mar 2008 15 63 22 -7 44.9
Feb 2008 13 68 19 -6 45.4

Customers' Inventories*

The ISM Customers' Inventories Index registered 47 percent in May, an increase of 2 percentage points when compared to April's reading of 45 percent. The index indicates that respondents believe their customers' inventories are too low at this time.

Five industries reported higher customers' inventories during May: Wood Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Furniture & Related Products; Chemical Products; and Transportation Equipment. The industries that reported lower customers' inventories during May are: Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; and Machinery.

Customers'
Inventories
%
Reporting
%Too
High
%About
Right
%Too
Low

Net

Index
May 2008 67 14 66 20 -6 47.0
Apr 2008 72 12 66 22 -10 45.0
Mar 2008 78 16 70 14 +2 51.0
Feb 2008 70 13 72 15 -2 49.0

Prices*

The ISM Prices Index registered 87 percent in May, indicating manufacturers are paying higher prices on average when compared to April. This is the highest reading for the index since it registered 88 percent in April 2004. While 78 percent of respondents reported paying higher prices and 4 percent reported paying lower prices, 18 percent of supply executives reported paying the same prices as the preceding month. A Prices Index above 47.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Index of Manufacturers Prices.

In May, 17 industries reported paying higher prices: Wood Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; Primary Metals; Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Printing & Related Support Activities.


Prices
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
May 2008 78 18 4 +74 87.0
Apr 2008 71 27 2 +69 84.5
Mar 2008 69 29 2 +67 83.5
Feb 2008 55 41 4 +51 75.5

Backlog of Orders*

ISM's Backlog of Orders Index registered 46 percent in May, 5.5 percentage points lower than the 51.5 percent reported in April. Of the 87 percent of respondents who reported their backlog of orders, 18 percent reported greater backlogs, 26 percent reported smaller backlogs, and 56 percent reported no change from April.

The seven industries reporting an increase in order backlogs in May are: Primary Metals; Printing & Related Support Activities; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Chemical Products. The industries that reported decreases in order backlogs during May are: Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Computer & Electronic Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; and Transportation Equipment.

Backlog of
Orders
%
Reporting
%
Greater
%
Same
%
Less

Net

Index
May 2008 87 18 56 26 -8 46.0
Apr 2008 85 23 57 20 +3 51.5
Mar 2008 85 18 59 23 -5 47.5
Feb 2008 87 22 46 32 -10 45.0

New Export Orders*

ISM's New Export Orders Index registered 59.5 percent in May, an increase of 2 percentage points when compared to April's index of 57.5 percent. This is the 66th consecutive month of growth in the New Export Orders Index.

The 12 industries reporting growth in new export orders in May are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. Apparel, Leather & Allied Products is the only industry that reported a decrease in new export orders in May.

New Export
Orders
%
Reporting
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
May 2008 78 26 67 7 +19 59.5
Apr 2008 79 23 69 8 +15 57.5
Mar 2008 76 22 69 9 +13 56.5
Feb 2008 75 22 68 10 +12 56.0

Imports*

Imports of materials by manufacturers contracted during May as the Imports Index registered 49.5 percent, 1.5 percentage points higher than the 48 percent reported in April. This is the fourth consecutive month of contraction in imports.

The five industries reporting growth in import activity for May are: Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; and Transportation Equipment. The industries that reported decreases in imports during May are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Primary Metals; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Related Products; Machinery; and Computer & Electronic Products.


Imports
%
Reporting
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
May 2008 82 12 75 13 -1 49.5
Apr 2008 85 11 74 15 -4 48.0
Mar 2008 83 9 72 19 -10 45.0
Feb 2008 83 13 69 18 -5 47.5

* The Backlog of Orders, Prices, Customers' Inventories, Imports and New Export Orders Indexes do not meet the accepted criteria for seasonal adjustments.


Buying Policy

Average commitment lead time for Capital Expenditures increased 4 days to 116 days. Average lead time for Production Materials increased 2 days to 51 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies increased 1 day to 27 days.

Percent Reporting

Capital
Expenditures
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
May 2008 22 12 10 19 25 12 116
Apr 2008 28 6 13 18 23 12 112
Mar 2008 24 6 13 19 26 12 118
Feb 2008 21 10 10 21 26 12 119
 

Production
Materials
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
May 2008 22 37 25 10 4 2 51
Apr 2008 21 38 27 9 3 2 49
Mar 2008 23 35 30 8 3 1 46
Feb 2008 20 40 28 7 4 1 47
 

MRO
Supplies
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
May 2008 51 35 8 4 1 1 27
Apr 2008 50 34 11 3 2 0 26
Mar 2008 56 32 9 3 0 0 21
Feb 2008 55 31 10 4 0 0 22

About this Report

The data presented herein is obtained from a survey of manufacturing supply managers based on information they have collected within their respective organizations. ISM makes no representation, other than that stated within this release, regarding the individual company data collection procedures. Use of the data is in the public domain and should be compared to all other economic data sources when used in decision-making.

Data and Method of Presentation

The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. Membership of the Manufacturing Business Survey Committee is diversified by NAICS, based on each industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). Manufacturing Business Survey Committee responses are divided into the following NAICS code categories: Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Paper Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing (products such as medical equipment and supplies, jewelry, sporting goods, toys and office supplies).

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Imports, Production, Supplier Deliveries, Inventories, Customers' Inventories, Employment and Prices), this report shows the percentage reporting each response, the net difference between the number of responses in the positive economic direction (higher, better and slower for Supplier Deliveries) and the negative economic direction (lower, worse and faster for Supplier Deliveries), and the diffusion index. Responses are raw data and are never changed. The diffusion index includes the percent of positive responses plus one-half of those responding the same (considered positive).

The resulting single index number for those meeting the criteria for seasonal adjustments (PMI, New Orders, Production, Employment, Supplier Deliveries and Inventories) is then seasonally adjusted to allow for the effects of repetitive intra-year variations resulting primarily from normal differences in weather conditions, various institutional arrangements, and differences attributable to non-moveable holidays. All seasonal adjustment factors are supplied by the U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject annually to relatively minor changes when conditions warrant them. The PMI is a composite index based on the seasonally adjusted diffusion indexes for five of the indicators with equal weights: New Orders, Production, Employment, Supplier Deliveries and Inventories.

Diffusion indexes have the properties of leading indicators and are convenient summary measures showing the prevailing direction of change and the scope of change. A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining. A PMI in excess of 41.1 percent, over a period of time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 41.1 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 41.1 percent is indicative of the strength of the expansion or decline. With some of the indicators within this report, ISM has indicated the departure point between expansion and decline of comparable government series, as determined by regression analysis.

Responses to Buying Policy reflect the percent reporting the current month's lead time, the approximate weighted number of days ahead for which commitments are made for Production Materials; Capital Expenditures; and Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies, expressed as hand-to-mouth (five days), 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six months (180 days), a year or more (360 days), and the weighted average number of days. These responses are raw data, never revised, and not seasonally adjusted since there is no significant seasonal pattern.

The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is published monthly by the Institute for Supply Management™. The Institute for Supply Management™, established in 1915, is the largest supply management organization in the world as well as one of the most respected. ISM's mission is to lead the supply management profession through its standards of excellence, research, promotional activities and education. This report has been issued by the association since 1931, except for a four-year interruption during World War II.

The full text version of the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is posted on ISM's Web site at www.ism.ws on the first business day of every month after 10:10 a.m. (ET).

The next Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® featuring the June 2008 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, July 1, 2008.


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