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October 2008 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

FOR RELEASE: November 3, 2008


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


PMI at 38.9%

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 October 2008.


Prices Dropping
New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventories Contracting
Supplier Deliveries Faster

(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in October for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy concluded 83 consecutive months of growth, 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 PMI indicates a significantly faster rate of decline in manufacturing when comparing October to September. It appears that manufacturing is experiencing significant demand destruction as a result of recent events, with members indicating challenges associated with the financial crisis, interruptions from the Gulf hurricane, and the lagging impact from higher oil prices. This is the lowest level for the PMI since September 1982 when it registered 38.8 percent. In this report, we see inflationary pressures dissolving as the Prices Index fell to 37 percent, the lowest since December 2001 when it registered 33.2 percent. Export orders also contracted for the first time following 70 months of growth."

PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY

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

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING ...
  • "Credit market causing suppliers to run closer on terms." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • "Appear to be bouncing along the bottom — volume is good but pricing is tough." (Primary Metals)
  • "Although the volume was down compared to last month, the volume was still higher than last year at the same time." (Chemical Products)
  • "Hurricane in Houston disrupted production for 10 days at our plant." (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • "Delivery issues continue across our range of purchased commodities as suppliers trim inventory commitments." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE
OCTOBER 2008


Index
Series
Index
October
Series
Index
September
Percentage
Point
Change


Direction
Rate
of
Change

Trend*
(Months)
PMI 38.9 43.5 -4.6 Contracting Faster 3
New Orders 32.2 38.8 -6.6 Contracting Faster 11
Production 34.1 40.8 -6.7 Contracting Faster 2
Employment 34.6 41.8 -7.2 Contracting Faster 3
Supplier Deliveries 49.2 52.5 -3.3 Faster From Slowing 1
Inventories 44.3 43.4 +0.9 Contracting Slower 4
Customers' Inventories 55.0 53.5 +1.5 Too High Faster 3
Prices 37.0 53.5 -16.5 Decreasing From Increasing 1
Backlog of Orders 29.5 35.0 -5.5 Contracting Faster 6
Exports 41.0 52.0 -11.0 Contracting From Growing 1
Imports 41.0 44.0 -3.0 Contracting Faster 9
             
OVERALL ECONOMY Contracting From Growing 1
Manufacturing Sector Contracting Faster 3

*Number of months moving in current direction


COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE and IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price

Caustic Soda (8); Chemicals; Copper*; Corrugated Containers (6); Steel — Bars; and Sulfuric Acid.

Commodities Down in Price

Aluminum; Aluminum Extrusions; Copper* (3); Copper Products (2); Diesel Fuel (3); Natural Gas (3); Nickel; Polypropylene; Soybean Oil; Stainless Steel; Steel (2); Steel — Cold Rolled; and Zinc (2).

Commodities in Short Supply

Caustic Soda (8) is the only commodity reported in short supply.

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

*Reported as both up and down in price

SPECIAL QUESTIONS

A special set of questions was asked of the manufacturing respondents in October to determine possible effects from the recent turmoil in the financial markets. Of those who responded to this set of questions, 52.9 percent indicated that they (or their suppliers) have been affected by the recent financial market turmoil. Of those who have been affected, 44.6 percent indicated that they have seen a decrease in the availability of credit; 40.8 percent have seen an increase in the cost of credit; 24.7 percent have experienced difficulty in initiating or renewing a bank credit line; and 78.6 percent have reduced spending and/or hiring.



OCTOBER 2008 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


PMI

Manufacturing contracted in October as the PMI registered 38.9 percent, 4.6 percentage points lower than the 43.5 percent reported in September. This is the lowest reading since September 1982 when the PMI registered 38.8 percent. 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 contraction in both the overall economy and the manufacturing sector. Ore stated, "The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through October (47.8 percent) corresponds to a 2.1 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, if the PMI for October (38.9 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 0.7 percent decrease in real GDP annually."

THE LAST 12 MONTHS
Month PMI   Month PMI
Oct 2008 38.9   Apr 2008 48.6
Sep 2008 43.5   Mar 2008 48.6
Aug 2008 49.9   Feb 2008 48.3
Jul 2008 50.0   Jan 2008 50.7
Jun 2008 50.2   Dec 2007 48.4
May 2008 49.6   Nov 2007 50.0
Average for 12 months — 48.1
High — 50.7
Low — 38.9

New Orders

ISM's New Orders Index registered 32.2 percent in October, 6.6 percentage points lower than the 38.8 percent registered in September. This is the lowest reading for this index since June 1980 when the index was at 24.2 percent. 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).

Apparel, Leather & Allied Products is the only industry reporting increased new orders during October. The industries failing to grow in October are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.

New
Orders
%
Better
%
Same
%
Worse

Net

Index
Oct 2008 13 35 52 -39 32.2
Sep 2008 18 43 39 -21 38.8
Aug 2008 23 48 29 -6 48.3
Jul 2008 18 54 28 -10 45.0

Production

ISM's Production Index decreased to 34.1 percent in October, a decrease of 6.7 percentage points from the 40.8 percent reported in September. 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 October, two registered growth: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. The industries failing to grow in October are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Chemical Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.


Production
%
Better
%
Same
%
Worse

Net

Index
Oct 2008 11 43 46 -35 34.1
Sep 2008 20 47 33 -13 40.8
Aug 2008 21 61 18 +3 52.1
Jul 2008 21 62 17 +4 52.9

Employment

ISM's Employment Index registered 34.6 percent in October, which is a decrease of 7.2 percentage points when compared to the 41.8 percent reported in September. This is the lowest reading for the Employment Index since March 1991 when the index registered 33.6 percent. 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 only industry reporting growth in employment during October is Apparel, Leather & Allied Products. The industries that reported decreases in employment during October are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.


Employment
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Oct 2008 7 53 40 -33 34.6
Sep 2008 8 65 27 -19 41.8
Aug 2008 17 63 20 -3 49.7
Jul 2008 19 65 16 +3 51.9

Supplier Deliveries

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations moved from slower to faster in October as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 49.2 percent, which is 3.3 percentage points lower than the 52.5 percent registered in September. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

The six industries reporting slower supplier deliveries in October are: Paper Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The industries reporting faster deliveries in October are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Wood Products; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Computer & Electronic Products.

Supplier
Deliveries
%
Slower
%
Same
%
Faster

Net

Index
Oct 2008 9 80 11 -2 49.2
Sep 2008 11 84 5 +6 52.5
Aug 2008 9 84 7 +2 50.3
Jul 2008 15 82 3 +12 55.1

Inventories

Manufacturers' inventories contracted in October as the Inventories Index registered 44.3 percent, which is 0.9 percentage point higher than the 43.4 percent reported in September. 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 October are: Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Paper Products. The industries that reported decreases in October are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Apparel, Leather& Allied Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.


Inventories
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Oct 2008 16 55 29 -13 44.3
Sep 2008 13 60 27 -14 43.4
Aug 2008 18 65 17 +1 49.3
Jul 2008 12 64 24 -12 45.0

Customers' Inventories*

The ISM Customers' Inventories Index registered 55 percent in October, an increase of 1.5 percentage points when compared to September's reading of 53.5 percent. The index indicates that respondents believe their customers' inventories are too high at this time.

Ten industries reported higher customers' inventories during October: Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Machinery. The industries that reported lower customers' inventories during October are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Wood Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

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

Net

Index
Oct 2008 77 28 54 18 +10 55.0
Sep 2008 77 23 61 16 +7 53.5
Aug 2008 66 22 65 13 +9 54.5
Jul 2008 74 17 60 23 -6 47.0

Prices*

The ISM Prices Index registered 37 percent in October compared to 53.5 percent in September, indicating manufacturers are paying lower prices on average when compared to September. This is the lowest reading for the index since December 2001 when it registered 33.2 percent. While 14 percent of respondents reported paying higher prices and 40 percent reported paying lower prices, 46 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 October, six industries reported paying higher prices: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Paper Products; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The industries that reported paying lower prices during October are: Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.


Prices
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Oct 2008 14 46 40 -26 37.0
Sep 2008 30 47 23 +7 53.5
Aug 2008 60 34 6 +54 77.0
Jul 2008 80 17 3 +77 88.5

Backlog of Orders*

ISM's Backlog of Orders Index registered 29.5 percent in October, 5.5 percentage points lower than the 35 percent reported in September. Of the 87 percent of respondents who reported their backlog of orders, 9 percent reported greater backlogs, 50 percent reported smaller backlogs, and 41 percent reported no change from September.

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

Backlog of
Orders
%
Reporting
%
Greater
%
Same
%
Less

Net

Index
Oct 2008 87 9 41 50 -41 29.5
Sep 2008 83 10 50 40 -30 35.0
Aug 2008 87 15 57 28 -13 43.5
Jul 2008 85 15 56 29 -14 43.0

New Export Orders*

ISM's New Export Orders Index registered 41 percent in October, a decrease of 11 percentage points when compared to September's index of 52 percent. This month's reading of 41 percent ends 70 consecutive months of growth in the New Export Orders Index.

The two industries reporting growth in new export orders in October are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Chemical Products. The industries that reported decreases in new export orders in October are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; and Fabricated Metal Products.

New Export
Orders
%
Reporting
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Oct 2008 77 7 68 25 -18 41.0
Sep 2008 77 16 72 12 +4 52.0
Aug 2008 79 23 68 9 +14 57.0
Jul 2008 75 17 74 9 +8 54.0

Imports*

Imports of materials by manufacturers contracted during October as the Imports Index registered 41 percent, 3 percentage points lower than the 44 percent reported in September. This is the ninth consecutive month of contraction in imports.

The only industry reporting growth in import activity for October is Apparel, Leather & Allied Products. The industries that reported decreases in imports during October are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Textile Mills; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Computer & Electronic Products.


Imports
%
Reporting
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Oct 2008 79 8 66 26 -18 41.0
Sep 2008 81 5 78 17 -12 44.0
Aug 2008 82 9 79 12 -3 48.5
Jul 2008 80 8 77 15 -7 46.5

* 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 1 day to 114 days. Average lead time for Production Materials decreased 3 days to 48 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies increased 3 days to 25 days.

Percent Reporting

Capital
Expenditures
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
Oct 2008 23 12 12 17 24 12 114
Sep 2008 28 5 14 15 27 11 113
Aug 2008 25 6 16 16 24 13 117
Jul 2008 27 6 9 19 27 12 117
 

Production
Materials
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
Oct 2008 27 37 24 6 3 3 48
Sep 2008 26 39 18 10 4 3 51
Aug 2008 23 35 27 6 6 3 55
Jul 2008 21 42 25 6 4 2 48
 

MRO
Supplies
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
Oct 2008 52 36 8 2 1 1 25
Sep 2008 53 37 7 2 1 0 22
Aug 2008 53 34 9 4 0 0 22
Jul 2008 56 32 10 2 0 0 20

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 November 2008 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Monday, December 1, 2008.


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