Manufacturing improves slightly in July
Only 28.6 percent of survey respondents expect positive conditions for next 6 months

By Katherine Michalets, Freeman Staff

August 3, 2015

MILWAUKEE - For the past several months, manufacturing in the region has been constricting, but a report from Marquette University Friday indicated it has improved slightly in July.

Marquette-Institute of Supply Management Report on Manufacturing showed manufacturing was at a seasonally adjusted level of 47.12 in July. Any number under 50 indicates a constricting market. However, in June the level was 46.55, and in May it was 47.70.

Respondents to the survey said July appeared to have picked up in terms of orders and production and many of the suppliers were not growing significantly. In addition, distributors have been stocking less.

Many areas for manufacturers in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois were declining in July, including new orders, production, employment, inventories and pricing.

The report also stated blue collar jobs were growing in July, while white collar jobs were declining.

Respondents also said that due to the low unemployment rate, the challenges of hiring qualified labor have limited some of their production operations this year.

Approximately 28.6 percent of respondents expect positive conditions in the next six months, while  57.1 percent expect conditions to remain the same and 14.3 percent of the respondents expect conditions to worsen within that same period, according to the report.