Manufacturing industry remains constricted for seventh month

By Freeman Staff

Oct. 31, 2015

MILWAUKEE - For the seventh straight month, a report on the state of manufacturing in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois from Marquette University finds that the industry remains constricted.

According to the Institute for Supply Management Report on Manufacturing for the month of October, manufacturers have continued concern regarding the lack of quality vendors, which results in long-term issues such as poor customer service and lower inventory.

The seasonally adjusted index for October was 46.66. Levels below 50 indicate a constricted industry. In September, the index was 39.44 and in August it was 47.67. The index has been at or below 50 for 17 of the past 26 months, according to the report that was issued Friday.

Another concern respondents expressed in October was about the continuing slowdown in the energy sector, specifically oil and gas.

“(It) has caused a severe slowdown in the sales of materials used in fracking which is a significant part of some companies’ total sales,” reads the report.

In addition, respondents said there is the expectation that manufacturing will remain down in the Midwest for the next six months.

Many areas of manufacturing are declining, according to the report, including new orders, production, prices and exports. Increasing areas are employment and imports while supplier deliveries are faster.

In positive news, the respondents said there was a substantial increase in the number of orders and thus there is a need to add some capacity in production.