December MBI at 57.4 – Slower Growth
With a reading of 57.4, the MBI showed that the metalworking industry is still growing at a good clip but that the rate of growth is the slowest since August 2010. Every sub-index but one (supplier deliveries) contributed to the slower rate of growth. Respondents noted that delivery of parts from Europe, special order parts, and some raw materials continue to be an issue. In general, suppliers seem to be having a difficult time because the rate of growth in metalworking and other manufacturing industries has been so strong in such a short period of time. However, the other sub-indices are indicating that the industry has seen its peak rate of growth in the near term. Employment showed much slower growth than in previous months while backlog returned to a rate of growth more in line with the majority of 2010. New orders and production grew more slowly but were still growing at near the peak rate of 2010. Future business expectations continue to be quite good, appearing to be about the average since the industry began recovering in mid 2009. Finally, planned capital expenditures continue to show signs of improvement. For more information on the MBI, go here.