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October MBI at 54.0 – 27 Months of Growth

Starting with October, the MBI now goes out to a larger, random group of shops that are subscribers to Modern Machine Shop. This has greatly increased the number of responses and should make the data more accurate.

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Since its inception, the MBI has been computed from results of shops that specifically signed up to fill out the survey. Starting with October, the MBI now goes out to a larger, random group of shops that are subscribers to Modern Machine Shop. This has greatly increased the number of responses and should make the data more accurate.
 
With a reading of 54.0, the MBI showed that the metalworking industry has grown since August 2009. In October, the rate of growth slowed, approaching the slowest rate of growth seen in this expansion. The only subindex that saw improvement in October was supplier deliveries, which moved from 53.3 to 57.5. Many respondents indicated slow deliveries of all raw materials, castings, carbide, steel, cutting tools and finishing services.
 

Both the backlog and exports subindices contracted in October. New orders saw slowing growth while production remained strong, leading to a contracting in backlog. The export subindex has been hovering around 50 for some time. Growth in material prices has been slowing since February 2011, and prices received seems to have broken its trend of stronger growth. Finally, future business expectations have come down since July, but they are still above the long-term average.