Industry Is Still Keeping up in Year of Strong Growth

Although the Gardner Business Index for November 2017 moved lower, its average for the year is still at a five-year high.

Brought to you by Modern Machine Shop, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Metalworking recorded slower growth during the month of November 2017, registering 55.2. This was among the lower monthly readings during a year that experienced strong but volatile growth. The average reading for the year is at 55.8, which is significantly higher than the 2015 and 2016 averages, and even slightly above the strong 2014 average of 54.3. The index is up 10.3 percent for the year-to-date period.

Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data for November indicates that production, supplier deliveries, new orders and employment lifted the metalworking index higher, while backlogs and exports contracted in the month and pulled the index lower. This was the first time in 2017 that backlogs contracted.

The reading among only job shops declined relatively less than the overall metalworking index. Survey responses from job shops indicated a much better month, with only new orders moving down by more than a point and all other components moving less than a point. Supplier deliveries also grew faster among job shops, setting yet another multi-year record high.