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September MBI Growth Shows Upward Trend

The MBI has been on an upward trend since April, indicating overall acceleration in metalworking industry growth.

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With a reading of 59.4, the MBI showed that the metalworking industry increased its rate of growth in September. The MBI has been on an upward trend since April, indicating overall acceleration in industry growth.
 
The employment subindex, which moved from 58.3 to 70.1, was the most significant contributor to the slightly stronger growth. While this subindex has gone up and down, employment has grown at a very strong and fairly consistent rate since September 2009.
 
After a one-month contraction in July (possibly due to seasonal factors) production has increased its rate of growth during each of the last two months. However, it does not appear that production is growing fast enough to keep up with the continuing growth of new orders, as backlogs continue to grow faster. 
 
Despite the fact that the dollar is at a 40-year low, exports have been mostly flat since early 2010. While material prices are still growing, the rate of growth has slowed noticeably since February 2011. Future business expectations were more positive in September after last month’s dip, which was probably due to Congress’ debt ceiling debate.