ECONOMIC GROWTH TO CONTINUE THROUGHOUT 2012

FOR RELEASE: May 8, 2012

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


Manufacturing Growth Continues in 2012
Revenue to Increase 4.5%
Capital Investment to Increase 6.2%
Capacity Utilization at 81.6%
Non-Manufacturing Growth Also Continues in 2012
Revenue to Increase 4.8%
Capital Investment to Increase 3.6%
Capacity Utilization at 85.2%

(Tempe, AZ) — Economic growth is expected to continue in the United States throughout the remainder of 2012, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in their spring 2012 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations for the remainder of 2012 continue to be positive in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.

These projections are part of the forecast issued by the Business Survey Committee of the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM). The forecast was presented today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee; and by Anthony S. Nieves, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Manufacturing Summary

Sixty-six percent of respondents from the panel of manufacturing supply management executives predict revenues will be 9.5 percent greater in 2012 compared to 2011, 15 percent expect a 12.1 percent decline, and 19 percent foresee no change. This yields an overall average expectation of 4.5 percent revenue growth among manufacturers in 2012, which is a modest reduction of 1 percentage point from December 2011 when the panel predicted a 5.5 percent increase in 2012 revenues. With operating capacity at 81.6 percent, an expected capital expenditure increase of 6.2 percent, and prices paid expected to increase a modest 0.4 percent from now through the end of 2012, manufacturers are positioned to grow revenues and contain costs through the remainder of the year. "With 16 out of 18 industries within the manufacturing sector predicting growth in 2012 over 2011, manufacturing continues to demonstrate its strength and resilience in the midst of global economic uncertainty and volatility. Capacity utilization is at historically typical levels and manufacturers are continuing to invest in their businesses. The positive forecast for revenue growth and modest price increases will drive a continuation of the recovery in the manufacturing sector," said Holcomb.

The 16 industries reporting expectations of growth in revenue for 2012 — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Paper Products; and Fabricated Metal Products.

Non-Manufacturing Summary

Fifty-five percent of non-manufacturing purchasing and supply executives expect their 2012 revenues to be greater by 9.9 percent than in 2011. Overall, respondents currently expect a 4.8 percent net increase in overall revenues, which is greater than the 3.1 percent increase that was forecast in December 2011. "Non-manufacturing will continue to grow for the balance of 2012. Non-manufacturing companies reflect strong capacity utilization coupled with forecasted revenue growth. This indicates that non-manufacturing companies are streamlined and efficient. Overall costs have been contained despite strong increases for fuel and petroleum-based products. Slow employment growth continues to be a challenge for the non-manufacturing sector," Nieves said.

The 17 non-manufacturing industries expecting increases in revenue in 2012 — listed in order — are: Information; Mining; Finance & Insurance; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Other Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Management of Companies & Support Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Utilities.



OPERATING RATE

Manufacturing

Purchasing and supply managers report that their companies are currently operating at 81.6 percent of normal capacity, representing an increase from the 79.2 percent reported in December 2011, and a decrease from the 83.2 percent reported in April 2011. This is consistent with the 33-month growth trend that began in August 2009 as reported in the monthly Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The nine industries reporting operating capacity levels at or above the average capacity of 81.6 percent — listed in order — are: Paper Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; Printing & Related Support Activities; Computer & Electronic Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Chemical Products.

Non-Manufacturing

Non-manufacturing purchasing and supply executives report that their organizations are currently operating at 85.2 percent of normal capacity. This is the same rate reported in December 2011 and greater than the 83.7 percent reported in April 2011. The following nine industries — listed in order — are operating at capacity levels above the average rate of 85.2 percent: Educational Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Other Services; Public Administration; Information; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; Finance & Insurance; and Construction.

Operating Rate
  Manufacturing Non-Manufacturing
  April
2011
Dec
2011
April
2012
April
2011
Dec
2011
April
2012
90%+ 47% 36% 37% 49% 52% 51%
50%-89% 50% 60% 60% 49% 47% 45%
Below 50% 3% 4% 3% 2% 1% 4%
Est. Overall Average 83.2% 79.2% 81.6% 83.7% 85.2% 85.2%


PRODUCTION CAPACITY

Manufacturing

Production capacity in manufacturing is expected to increase 5.2 percent in 2012. This increase is slightly less than the 5.6 percent increase predicted in December 2011 for 2012, but greater than the 4.6 percent increase reported in December for 2011. This reflects the continuing strength in the sector as 47 percent of respondents expect an average capacity increase of 14.1 percent, 8 percent expect decreases averaging 19.1 percent, and 45 percent expect no change. The 14 industries expecting production capacity increases for 2012 — listed in order — are: Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Chemical Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Fabricated Metal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Manufacturing Production Capacity
  For 2011 For 2012 For 2012
  Reported
Dec 2011
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
Dec 2011
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Higher 44% +13.2% 47% +12.5% 47% +14.1%
Same 47% NA 48% NA 45% NA
Lower 9% -13% 5% -6.2% 8% -19.1%
Net Average   +4.6%   +5.6%   +5.2%

Non-Manufacturing

The capacity to produce products or provide services in the non-manufacturing sector is expected to increase 3.3 percent during 2012. This compares to an increase of 1.1 percent reported for 2011 and a prediction in December 2011 for an increase of 3.2 percent for 2012. For 2012, 30 percent of non-manufacturing respondents expect their capacity to increase by an average of 11.9 percent, and 6 percent of the respondents foresee their capacity decreasing by an average of 6.6 percent. Sixty-four percent expect no change in their capacity. The 16 industries expecting to add to their production capacity in 2012 — listed in order — are: Information; Mining; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Other Services; Wholesale Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Accommodation & Food Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Retail Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Finance & Insurance; and Public Administration.

Non-Manufacturing Production or Provision Capacity
  For 2011 For 2012 For 2012
  Reported
Dec 2011
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
Dec 2011
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Higher 23% +12.4% 39% +9.0% 30% +11.9%
Same 68% NA 58% NA 64% NA
Lower 9% -16.8% 3% -8.5% 6% -6.6%
Net Average   +1.1%   +3.2%   +3.3%


PREDICTED CAPITAL EXPENDITURES — 2012 vs. 2011

Manufacturing

Survey respondents expect a 6.2 percent increase in capital expenditures in 2012. This is considerably greater than the December 2011 forecast when members predicted an increase of only 1.9 percent for 2012. Currently, 42 percent of respondents predict increased capital expenditures in 2012, with an average increase of 23.4 percent, while the 13 percent who said their capital spending would decrease expect an average decrease of 25.8 percent. Forty-five percent say they will spend the same in 2012 as they did in 2011. The 14 industries expecting increases in capital expenditures in 2012 compared to 2011 — listed in order — are: Fabricated Metal Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Chemical Products; Machinery; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

Non-Manufacturing

Non-manufacturing purchasing and supply executives are expecting to increase their level of capital expenditures 3.6 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. The 34 percent of members expecting to spend more predict an average increase of 18.8 percent. An additional 15 percent of respondents anticipate a decrease averaging 20.3 percent. Fifty-one percent of the respondents expect to spend the same on capital expenditures in 2012 as in 2011. The 15 industries expecting an increase in capital expenditures in 2012 from 2011 — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Retail Trade; Mining; Information; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Construction; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; and Utilities.

Predicted Capital Expenditures 2012 vs. 2011
  Manufacturing Non-Manufacturing
  Predicted
Dec 2011
Predicted
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
Dec 2011
Predicted
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Higher 42% 42% +23.4% 37% 34% +18.8%
Same 42% 45% NA 39% 51% NA
Lower 16% 13% -25.8% 24% 15% -20.3%
Net Average     +6.2%     +3.6%


PRICES — Changes Between End of 2011 and April 2012

Manufacturing

In the December 2011 forecast, respondents predicted an increase of 2 percent in prices paid during the first four months of 2012; however, they now report prices have increased 1.9 percent for the period. The 55 percent who say their prices are higher now than at the end of 2011 report an average increase of 5 percent, while the 19 percent who report lower prices report an average decrease of 4.2 percent. The remaining 26 percent indicate no change for the period. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported increases in prices paid for the first part of 2012 in the following order: Wood Products; Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Furniture & Related Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Machinery.

Non-Manufacturing

Non-Manufacturing respondents report that their purchases in the first four months of this year cost an average of 1.8 percent more than they cost at the end of 2011. This is 0.3 percentage point lower than the 2.1 percent increase predicted in December 2011 for 2012. Fifty-five percent of the non-manufacturing respondents report the prices they paid increased an average of 4.3 percent in the first part of 2012. Eight percent report price decreases averaging 7.4 percent. The remaining 37 percent indicate no change in prices paid in the first four months of 2012. The 16 industries reporting an increase in prices paid in the first part of 2012 — listed in order — are: Mining; Accommodation & Food Services; Construction; Retail Trade; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Health Care & Social Assistance; Information; Other Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; and Utilities.

Prices — Changes Between End of 2011 and April 2012
  Manufacturing Non-Manufacturing
  Predicted
Dec 2011
Reported
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
Dec 2011
Reported
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Higher 63% 55% +5.0% 63% 55% +4.3%
Same 26% 26% NA 30% 37% NA
Lower 11% 19% -4.2% 7% 8% -7.4%
Net Average +2.0%   +1.9% +2.1%   +1.8%


PRICES — Predicted Changes Between End of 2011 and End of 2012

Manufacturing

When asked to predict 2012 price changes, 61 percent of respondents expect the prices they pay to increase by 5.3 percent for the full year of 2012 compared to the end of 2011. At the same time, 18 percent anticipate decreases averaging 4.9 percent. Including the 21 percent who expect no change in prices, survey respondents expect net average prices to increase 2.3 percent for the entire year of 2012, indicating that prices are expected to rise an additional 0.4 percent for the remainder of the year. Out of 18 manufacturing industries, 17 are predicting increases in prices for all of 2012 in the following order: Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; and Computer & Electronic Products.

Non-Manufacturing

For 2012, non-manufacturing respondents expect the prices they pay to increase 2.6 percentage points when compared to the prices at the end of 2011. Given that respondents have reported that prices have increased 1.8 percent through April 2012, the prediction is for prices to increase an additional 0.8 percent over the remainder of the year. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents anticipate price increases averaging 4.4 percent. Eight percent of the respondents expect price decreases of 5 percent, and 24 percent do not expect prices to change. The 17 industries expecting price increases in 2012 — listed in order — are: Construction; Accommodation & Food Services; Wholesale Trade; Mining; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Retail Trade; Other Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Public Administration; Educational Services; Utilities; Finance & Insurance; Transportation & Warehousing; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Information; and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing.

Prices — Predicted Changes Between End of 2011 and End of 2012
  Manufacturing Non-Manufacturing
  Predicted
Dec 2011
Predicted
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
Dec 2011
Predicted
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Higher 72% 61% +5.3% 72% 68% +4.4%
Same 14% 21% NA 22% 24% NA
Lower 14% 18% -4.9% 6% 8% -5.0%
Net Average +2.9%   +2.3% +2.7%   +2.6%


EMPLOYMENT

Change in Overall Employment — Balance 2012

Manufacturing

ISM's Manufacturing Business Survey respondents forecast that manufacturing employment will increase 1.4 percent during the balance of 2012, with 45 percent expecting employment to be 5.6 percent higher. This is in contrast to the 14 percent who predict employment to be lower by 8.1 percent. The remaining 41 percent of respondents expect their employment levels to be unchanged for the remainder of 2012. The 14 industries reporting expectations of growth in employment during the year — listed in order — are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Fabricated Metal Products.

Non-Manufacturing

ISM's Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee respondents forecast that employment will increase 1.9 percent during the balance of 2012. For the remaining months of 2012, 32 percent expect employment to increase 7.8 percent, 9 percent anticipate employment to decrease by 6.3 percent, and 59 percent expect their employment levels to be unchanged. The 12 industries anticipating increases in employment in the remaining months of 2012 — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Construction; Finance & Insurance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Information; Other Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Mining; Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; and Utilities.

Predicted Change in Overall Employment
  Manufacturing Non-Manufacturing
  Predicted
for 2012
Dec 2011
Balance
of 2012
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Predicted
for 2012
Dec 2011
Balance
of 2012
April 2012
Magnitude
of Change
Higher 38% 45% +5.6% 29% 32% +7.8%
Same 47% 41% NA 57% 59% NA
Lower 15% 14% -8.1% 14% 9% -6.3%
Net Average     +1.4%     +1.9%
Diffusion Index 61.5% 65.5%   57.5%   61.5%


BUSINESS REVENUES

Business Revenues Comparison — 2012 vs. 2011

Manufacturing

Looking ahead, expectations are for increased revenues in 2012 as purchasing and supply management executives indicate an overall net nominal increase of 4.5 percent in business revenues for 2012 over 2011. This is 1 percentage point lower than the 5.5 percent increase that was forecast in December 2011 for all of 2012, and 2.5 percentage points less than the 7 percent increase reported for 2011 over 2010. Sixty-six percent of respondents say that nominal revenues (before adjusting for inflation) for 2012 will increase an average of 9.5 percent over 2011. Conversely, 15 percent say their nominal revenues will decrease an average of 12.1 percent, and the remaining 19 percent indicate no change. The 16 industries reporting expectations of growth in revenue during the year — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Paper Products; and Fabricated Metal Products.

Manufacturing Business Revenues
2011 vs. 2010 2012 vs. 2011
  Reported
Dec 2011
Nominal
% Change
Predicted
Dec 2011
Nominal
% Change
Predicted
April 2012
Nominal
% Change
Higher 67% +13.3% 69% +9.3% 66% +9.5%
Same 16% NA 23% NA 19% NA
Lower 17% -11.5% 8% -11.4% 15% -12.1%
Net Average   +7.0%   +5.5%   +4.5%

Non-Manufacturing

Non-manufacturing respondents forecast that business revenues for 2012 will increase 4.8 percent compared to 2011. This is higher than the 3.1 percent increase predicted in December 2011 for 2012. The 55 percent of respondents forecasting better business in 2012 than in 2011 estimate an average nominal revenue increase of 9.9 percent. This is in contrast to an average nominal decrease of 7.6 percent forecast by the 8 percent who predict less business in 2012. The remaining 37 percent see no change in revenues for 2012. The 17 industries expecting an increase in revenues in 2012 — listed in order — are: Information; Mining; Finance & Insurance; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Other Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Management of Companies & Support Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Utilities.

Non-Manufacturing Business Revenues
2011 vs. 2010 2012 vs. 2011
  Reported
Dec 2011
Nominal
% Change
Predicted
Dec 2011
Nominal
% Change
Predicted
April 2012
Nominal
% Change
Higher 52% +7.9% 58% +7.1% 55% +9.9%
Same 23% NA 34% NA 37% NA
Lower 25% -10.6% 8% -12.7% 8% -7.6%
Net Average   +1.5%   +3.1%   +4.8%


SUMMARY

Manufacturing
  • Operating rate is currently 81.6 percent of normal capacity.
  • Production capacity is expected to increase 5.2 percent in 2012.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to increase 6.2 percent in 2012.
  • Prices paid increased 1.9 percent through the end of April 2012.
  • Prices are expected to increase a total of 2.3 percent for all of 2012, indicating an expected increase in prices of 0.4 percent for the remainder of the year.
  • Manufacturing employment is expected to increase 1.4 percent during the remainder of 2012.
  • Manufacturing revenues are expected to increase 4.5 percent in 2012.
  • Overall, manufacturing is expected to grow moderately in 2012.
Non-Manufacturing
  • Operating rate is currently 85.2 percent of normal capacity.
  • Production capacity is expected to increase 3.3 percent in 2012.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to increase 3.6 percent in 2012.
  • Prices paid increased 1.8 percent through the end of April 2012.
  • Prices are expected to increase an additional 0.8 percent over the remainder of the year, for a total 2012 increase of 2.6 percent.
  • Non-manufacturing employment is expected to increase 1.9 percent during the balance of 2012.
  • Non-manufacturing revenues are expected to increase 4.8 percent in 2012.
  • Overall, non-manufacturing is expected to continue growing in 2012.

*Miscellaneous Manufacturing items include products such as Medical Equipment and Supplies, Jewelry, Sporting Goods, Toys and Office Supplies.

**Other Services include: Equipment & Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning & Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services.

In addition to the forecast, the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is issued monthly on the first business day of each month and is considered by many economists to be the most reliable near-term economic barometer available. It is reviewed regularly by top government agencies and economic business leaders. The report, compiled from responses to questions asked of approximately 350 purchasing and supply executives across the country, tracks industrial production, new orders, inventories, supplier deliveries, employment, buying policies and prices. 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*. The report has been issued by the association since 1931, except during World War II.

Covering the non-manufacturing sector, ISM debuted the Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® in June 1998. The Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is released on the third business day of each month, and is based on data received from purchasing and supply executives from 18 different non-manufacturing industries across the country. The Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is diversified by NAICS, based on each industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). The Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee responses are divided into the following NAICS code categories: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Information; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Other Services**; and Public Administration. The report covers business activity, new orders, backlog of orders, new export orders, inventory change, inventory sentiment, imports, prices, employment, and supplier deliveries.

The Manufacturing and Non-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.

The full text version of the reports is posted on ISM's Home Page at www.ism.ws on the first and third business day of every month after 10:10 a.m. (ET).

The next Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® featuring the May 2012 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Friday, June 1, 2012.

The next Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® featuring the May 2012 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.



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