MILWAUKEE The Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing
showed the seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers Index
for March is 53.25, up from 50.32 in February.
places the index above 50 for seventeen of the past
nineteen months, which indicates growth.
Respondents in the March survey said:
The industry has been starting to experience an
increase in sales.
New orders are now starting to come in. It will
take several weeks before they hit production
Companies are attempting to utilize a Kanban
method in order to achieve Just In Time production
Prices have increased for some products but the
majority has stayed relatively the same. The price
increases have been a result of it being a new year. A
key note is that US scrap metal prices have been
Other areas that showed growth include new orders,
production, inventories, backlog of orders, and imports.
Employment, supplier deliveries, customers inventories,
prices, and exports all showed either slower or
Respondents said this of the growths and declines:
There have been late vendor shipments even with
sufficient lead times. Along with that there have been
vendor part quality problems. This is a concern for the
long term as companies are still trying to find good
The biggest issue being faced is a lack of
quality service vendors. The problems with vendors tends
to be either they do not have enough personnel or have
the wrong personnel in place. This causes orders to be
lost of delayed, billing to be incorrect, and
communication to be non-existent.
The rise and fall of natural has and oil pieces
has not significantly impacted products that use them as
cost drivers (i.e. transportation and airline prices are
NOT going down in spite of slumping oil prices).
The West Coast ports have opened.
Collar employment increased from 46.5 in February to
51.9 in March. White collar employment decreased from
58.1 in February to 46.1 in March.
six-month outlook shows an upward shift in positive
expectations compared with February in terms of market
Approximately 53.3 percent of respondents expect
positive conditions, 40 percent expect conditions to
remain the same and 6.7 percent expect conditions to
worsen within the next six months.