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March 2009 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

FOR RELEASE: April 1, 2009


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


PMI at 36.3%

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 March 2009.


New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventories Contracting
Prices Falling
Supplier Deliveries Faster
Some Industries Expect to Benefit From Economic Stimulus Package

(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in March for the 14th consecutive month, and the overall economy contracted for the sixth 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, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The rapid decline in manufacturing appears to have moderated somewhat, as the PMI remains in the mid-30s for a third consecutive month. While the PMI is slightly higher in March, the New Orders Index offers greater encouragement, as it rose above the 40-percent mark for the first time in seven months. The Production Index showed no benefit as yet from the improvement in new orders, as it continued to decline at a rate similar to March. The rate of decline in the Employment Index slowed slightly, and the same held true for the Prices Index. A special question was asked with regard to the Economic Stimulus Package, and five of the 18 manufacturing industries expect to derive some benefit from the stimulus." (See Special Questions section at the end of this release.)

PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY

None of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in March. The industries reporting contraction in March — listed in order — are: Fabricated Metal Products; Textile Mills; Machinery; Chemical Products; Primary Metals; Printing & Related Support Activities; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Furniture & Related Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; and Apparel, Leather & Allied Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING ...
  • "We remain challenged to align our capacities with demand." (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
  • "Most of the international markets have been reducing inventory levels and they are forecasting improvements in the next 4 to 6 months." (Chemical Products)
  • "Many pockets of improvement." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
  • "Still very slow. No stimulus package for manufacturing. Down 30 percent." (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • "What we are feeling now is that customers aren't making their final payments on equipment that has already been shipped." (Machinery)
MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE
MARCH 2009


Index
Series
Index
March
Series
Index
February
Percentage
Point
Change


Direction
Rate
of
Change

Trend*
(Months)
PMI 36.3 35.8 +0.5 Contracting Slower 14
New Orders 41.2 33.1 +8.1 Contracting Slower 16
Production 36.4 36.3 +0.1 Contracting Slower 7
Employment 28.1 26.1 +2.0 Contracting Slower 8
Supplier Deliveries 43.6 46.7 -3.1 Faster Faster 6
Inventories 32.2 37.0 -4.8 Contracting Faster 35
Customers' Inventories 54.0 51.0 +3.0 Too High Faster 8
Prices 31.0 29.0 +2.0 Decreasing Slower 6
Backlog of Orders 35.5 31.0 +4.5 Contracting Slower 11
Exports 39.0 37.5 +1.5 Contracting Slower 6
Imports 33.0 32.0 +1.0 Contracting Slower 14
             
OVERALL ECONOMY Contracting Slower 6
Manufacturing Sector Contracting Slower 14

*Number of months moving in current direction.


COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE and IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price

Copper; Polyethylene; and Polypropylene.

Commodities Down in Price

Aluminum (6); Caustic Soda; Corrugated Containers (3); Diesel Fuel; Fuel Oil; Natural Gas (8); Stainless Steel (6); Stainless Steel Products (4); Steel (7); Steel—Sheet; and Steel Products (2).

Commodities in Short Supply

No commodities are reported in short supply.

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



MARCH 2009 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


PMI

Manufacturing contracted in March as the PMI registered 36.3 percent, which is 0.5 percentage point higher than the 35.8 percent reported in February. This is the 14th consecutive month of contraction in the manufacturing sector. 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 41.2 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 March (35.9 percent) corresponds to a 1.6 percent decrease in real gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, if the PMI for March (36.3 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 1.5 percent decrease in real GDP annually."

THE LAST 12 MONTHS
Month PMI   Month PMI
Mar 2009 36.3   Sep 2008 43.4
Feb 2009 35.8   Aug 2008 49.3
Jan 2009 35.6   Jul 2008 49.5
Dec 2008 32.9   Jun 2008 49.5
Nov 2008 36.6   May 2008 49.3
Oct 2008 38.7   Apr 2008 48.6
Average for 12 months – 42.1
High – 49.5
Low – 32.9

New Orders

ISM's New Orders Index registered 41.2 percent in March, 8.1 percentage points higher than the 33.1 percent registered in February. This is the 16th consecutive month of contraction in the New Orders Index. A New Orders Index above 48.8 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau's series on manufacturing orders (in constant 2000 dollars).

Six industries reported growth in new orders in March: Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Furniture & Related Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The industries failing to grow in March are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Primary Metals; and Printing & Related Support Activities.

New
Orders
%
Better
%
Same
%
Worse

Net

Index
Mar 2009 28 31 41 -13 41.2
Feb 2009 13 43 44 -31 33.1
Jan 2009 15 33 52 -37 33.2
Dec 2008 5 31 64 -59 23.1

Production

ISM's Production Index registered 36.4 percent in March, which is an increase of 0.1 percentage point from February's reading of 36.3 percent. An index above 50.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board's Industrial Production figures. This is the seventh consecutive month of decline in production.

Two industries reported growth in production during the month of March: Paper Products and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The industries failing to grow in March — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Machinery; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.


Production
%
Better
%
Same
%
Worse

Net

Index
Mar 2009 17 39 44 -27 36.4
Feb 2009 16 40 44 -28 36.3
Jan 2009 13 33 54 -41 32.1
Dec 2008 7 33 60 -53 26.3

Employment

ISM's Employment Index registered 28.1 percent in March, which is 2 percentage points higher than the 26.1 percent reported in February. This is the eighth consecutive month of decline in employment. An Employment Index above 49.7 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.

None of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in employment in March. The industries that reported decreases in employment during March are: Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Wood Products; Textile Mills; Chemical Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Computer & Electronic Products; Primary Metals; Printing & Related Support Activities; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.


Employment
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Mar 2009 8 41 51 -43 28.1
Feb 2009 6 40 54 -48 26.1
Jan 2009 5 46 49 -44 29.9
Dec 2008 7 43 50 -43 29.9

Supplier Deliveries

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was faster for the sixth consecutive month in March as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 43.6 percent, which is 3.1 percentage points lower than the 46.7 percent registered in February. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

The four industries reporting slower supplier deliveries in March are: Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. The industries reporting faster deliveries in March are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Chemical Products.

Supplier
Deliveries
%
Slower
%
Same
%
Faster

Net

Index
Mar 2009 7 73 20 -13 43.6
Feb 2009 6 78 16 -10 46.7
Jan 2009 7 74 19 -12 45.3
Dec 2008 5 79 16 -11 45.7

Inventories

Manufacturers' inventories contracted in March as the Inventories Index registered 32.2 percent, which is 4.8 percentage points lower than February's reading of 37 percent. An Inventories Index greater than 42.6 percent, over time, is generally consistent with expansion in the Bureau of Economic Analysis' (BEA) figures on overall manufacturing inventories (in chained 2000 dollars).

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


Inventories
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Mar 2009 9 48 43 -34 32.2
Feb 2009 19 38 43 -24 37.0
Jan 2009 18 40 42 -24 37.5
Dec 2008 18 40 42 -24 39.6

Customers' Inventories*

The ISM Customers' Inventories Index registered 54 percent in March, 3 percentage points higher than the 51 percent reported in February. The index indicates that respondents believe their customers' inventories are too high at this time. This is the eighth consecutive month that the index has indicated that customers' inventories are too high.

Six industries reported higher customers' inventories during March: Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The industries that reported lower customers' inventories during March are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Plastics & Rubber Products; Wood Products; Paper Products; and Machinery.

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

Net

Index
Mar 2009 78 29 50 21 +8 54.0
Feb 2009 80 28 46 26 +2 51.0
Jan 2009 80 31 49 20 +11 55.5
Dec 2008 73 30 54 16 +14 57.0

Prices*

The ISM Prices Index registered 31 percent in March, 2 percentage points higher than the 29 percent reported in February. Since the index is below the mid-point of 50, this indicates that manufacturers continue to pay lower prices on average when compared to the previous month. While 7 percent of respondents reported paying higher prices and 45 percent reported paying lower prices, 48 percent of supply executives reported paying the same prices as the preceding month. A Prices Index above 47.6 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Index of Manufacturers Prices.

In March, Computer & Electronic Products is the only industry reporting paying higher prices. The industries that reported paying lower prices during March — listed in order — are: Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Chemical Products; Furniture & Related Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products.


Prices
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Mar 2009 7 48 45 -38 31.0
Feb 2009 7 44 49 -42 29.0
Jan 2009 12 34 54 -42 29.0
Dec 2008 2 32 66 -64 18.0

Backlog of Orders*

ISM's Backlog of Orders Index registered 35.5 percent in March, 4.5 percentage points higher than the 31 percent reported in February. Of the 83 percent of respondents who reported their backlog of orders, 11 percent reported greater backlogs, 40 percent reported smaller backlogs, and 49 percent reported no change from February.

Two industries reported increased order backlogs in March: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The industries that reported decreases in order backlogs during March — listed in order — are: Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Primary Metals; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Plastics & Rubber Products.

Backlog of
Orders
%
Reporting
%
Greater
%
Same
%
Less

Net

Index
Mar 2009 83 11 49 40 -29 35.5
Feb 2009 86 8 46 46 -38 31.0
Jan 2009 84 6 47 47 -41 29.5
Dec 2008 86 5 36 59 -54 23.0

New Export Orders*

ISM's New Export Orders Index registered 39 percent in March, 1.5 percentage points higher than the 37.5 percent reported in February. This is the sixth month of contraction in the New Export Orders Index.

The four industries reporting growth in new export orders in March are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Machinery. The industries that reported decreases in new export orders in March — listed in order — are: Furniture & Related Products; Paper Products; Textile Mills; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

New Export
Orders
%
Reporting
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Mar 2009 80 9 60 31 -22 39.0
Feb 2009 79 7 61 32 -25 37.5
Jan 2009 77 6 63 31 -25 37.5
Dec 2008 75 7 57 36 -29 35.5

Imports*

Imports of materials by manufacturers contracted during March as the Imports Index registered 33 percent, 1 percentage point higher than the 32 percent reported in February. This is the 14th consecutive month of contraction in imports.

None of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in imports during the month of March. The industries that reported decreases in imports — listed in order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Paper Products; Chemical Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.


Imports
%
Reporting
%
Higher
%
Same
%
Lower

Net

Index
Mar 2009 85 5 56 39 -34 33.0
Feb 2009 80 7 50 43 -36 32.0
Jan 2009 84 10 53 37 -27 36.5
Dec 2008 84 11 56 33 -22 39.0

* 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 decreased 1 day to 104 days. Average lead time for Production Materials decreased 2 days to 43 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies decreased 3 days to 21 days.

Percent Reporting

Capital
Expenditures
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
Mar 2009 30 11 14 11 23 11 104
Feb 2009 36 6 12 11 23 12 105
Jan 2009 29 11 13 19 18 10 98
Dec 2008 33 6 11 17 24 9 101
 

Production
Materials
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
Mar 2009 35 35 20 3 5 2 43
Feb 2009 30 44 15 4 4 3 45
Jan 2009 28 43 21 3 3 2 42
Dec 2008 31 37 22 5 1 4 47
 

MRO
Supplies
Hand-
to-
Mouth

30
Days

60
Days

90
Days

6
Months

1
Year+

Average
Days
Mar 2009 56 33 7 3 1 0 21
Feb 2009 58 30 8 2 1 1 24
Jan 2009 51 34 11 2 2 0 25
Dec 2008 57 31 9 2 0 1 23

Special Questions — March

Survey respondents were asked special questions designed to learn more about expectations regarding the Economic Stimulus Package. The questions were structured to determine if respondents believe that their industry and organization will benefit from the program as they understand it.

Of all respondents, 36 percent indicate that their industry will benefit. The industries with a majority of respondents indicating that they expect to benefit are: Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; and Machinery.

Thirty-four percent of respondents indicate that their company will benefit from the stimulus package. The industries with a majority of respondents indicating that their company will benefit are: Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

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 41.2 percent, over a period of time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 41.2 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 41.2 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 April 2009 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Friday, May 1, 2009.


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