Metalworking Index Starts 2018 Sharply Stronger

The Gardner Business Index: Metalworking shows that new orders, including export demand, are driving industry expansion.

Registering 59.1 for January, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Metalworking started off 2018 by setting a new record high. Compared to the same month one year ago, the Metalworking Index grew by more than 9 percent. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data for the latest month indicates that strong increases in the expansion of new orders and production drove the business index higher. Although supplier deliveries and employment readings both expanded for another month, they did not raise the index. Yet backlogs, which increased significantly during the month, along with exports pulled the index lower. All components of the Metalworking Index expanded during January. For a second month in a row, new orders outpaced production. Gardner Intelligence’s review of past data trends suggests that when new order growth exceeds production, manufacturers can expect continued industry growth.

The index reading calculated among only metalcutting job shops increased greatly as well during the month, setting its own multi-year record high. Compared to the same month one year ago, this index grew by 8.3 percent. During January, metalcutting job shops reported very strong growth in new orders, production and supplier deliveries.