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GBI: Metalworking for November 2015 - 43.2

With a reading of 43.2, Gardner’s metalworking business index showed that the industry contracted in November for the eighth month in a row. However, the index was unchanged compared with October and has been virtually flat since August, indicating that the industry may have hit a bottom.
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With a reading of 43.2, Gardner’s metalworking business index showed that the industry contracted in November for the eighth month in a row. However, the index was unchanged compared with October and has been virtually flat since August, indicating that the industry may have hit a bottom.

New orders contracted for the eighth month in a row, but this index has trended up slightly for four months. Production contracted for the fifth month in a row, however November was the first of those months that the contraction was at a slower rate. Production continued to be relatively stronger than new orders, therefore the backlog index contracted once again, reaching its lowest level since November 2012. Since March 2014, the backlog index has been in a fairly steady downward trend, indicating falling capacity utilization at metalworking facilities. Employment contracted for the fourth straight month, although the index has improved since August. The export index contracted for the 20th month in a row, although the rate of contraction slowed the last three months. Supplier deliveries shortened for the second time in the last three months. Shorter delivery times indicate that suppliers aren’t as busy and can more easily meet the demands of customers.

Material prices fell sharply in November, reaching their lowest level since May 2009. Prices received have decreased since June, although the decrease was significant only in October and November. Future business expectations have been steady but somewhat low the last three months.

In November, future capital spending plans were at their highest level since March, however, they were still only 66 percent of their historical average and contracting at a fairly significant rate compared with one year earlier. 

Click here for more Economic News from Gardner Business Media, publisher of Modern Machine Shop.