PMI has been below 50 for the last six months.
An index above 50 suggests the industry is
growing, while a reading below 50 suggests it is
Source: Marquette University Institute for
MILWAUKEE -The Marquette University
Institute for Supply Management report showed a
significant decline in the industry during September,
illustrating a market that continues to constrict in
southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
According to the report released
Wednesday, the September index registered at 39.44,
which is below the 50-level indicating negative
territory for the sixth straight month. In August, the
index was at 47.67 and in July was 47.12. Any number
under 50 signifies a constricted market.
September report respondents said there
were “no major issues of concern at this time” as well
as “there has been slowing demand from customers as the
end of fiscal year is approaching.”
Douglas A. Fisher, assistant professor
and director of the Center for Supply Chain Management
at Marquette University, said the decrease also
surprised him, causing him to recheck all of the
“While unexpected, my ‘feelings’ are that
companies were burned so badly in the 2008/09 recession
that any sign of ‘softness’ produces a very conservative
reaction,” Fisher wrote in an email Wednesday. “From a
business management perspective, that is not all bad.
From an ‘economic reporting standpoint’, it can produce
unexpected numbers in any given month.”
The manufacturing index for September
showed declines in new orders, employment, supplier
deliveries, inventories and prices. The only two areas
that increased were imports and customers’ inventories.
Respondents to the survey also said there
have been increases in the number of orders, which has
caused some companies to fall behind on meeting all of
their orders, but others said the pending orders should
be released soon.
Fisher pointed out the “inconsistent”
comments with the survey.
“One month does not make a trend - so
let’s see what October produces,” Fisher said.
The report also indicated the white
collar employment is growing, while blue collar
employment is declining. Retirees, according to the
index, are not being replaced.
According to the report, there is no
change in positive expectations in September compared to
August regarding the terms of market conditions.
“Approximately 38.5 percent of
respondents expect positive conditions, 38.5 percent
expect conditions to remain the same and 23.1 percent of
the respondents expect conditions to worsen within the
next six months,” according to the report.