12172017Sun
Last updateFri, 15 Dec 2017 3pm

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U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Up 6.3%

Orders for manufacturing technology kept their momentum in October 2017, gaining 6.3% over September to a total value of $428.32 million, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report from The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Year to date, orders are up 7.6% compared to the same point in 2016.

AMT analysis shows the manufacturing technology market on an upturn through the last quarter of 2017. Most major industrial sectors showed improvement in October, with medical equipment orders up 60% and contract machine shops also continuing to invest. Aerospace orders declined for the month after an exceptionally strong September, and orders from the off-road equipment industry also showed weakness. 


NAM Survey: Manufacturers’ Optimism Reaches Record High

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017, showing manufacturers’ optimism has risen to unprecedented heights amid the legislative progress made on tax reform. With 94.6% of respondents saying they are positive about their own company’s outlook, this quarter’s optimism level is the highest in the survey’s 20-year history. Optimism has been at historically high levels throughout the year, averaging 91.8% in the four quarters of 2017, up from a 64.3% average in 2016.

In addition, the results show more than three-quarters of manufacturers surveyed support the current tax reforms being debated in Congress. Nearly 63% of respondents said comprehensive business tax reform would encourage their company to increase capital spending, and more than half said they would expand their businesses (57.9%) and hire more workers (53.8%), while nearly half would increase employee wages and benefits (48.8%). 

Construction Index Remains Strong in November

The Dodge Momentum Index surged again in November, climbing 13.9% to 149.5 from the revised October reading of 131.3. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

The November increase was the second month of strong gains after a four-month period of softness. On a year-over-year basis, the Momentum Index is now nearly 21% higher, with the commercial portion up 24% and the institutional side up 17%. The turnaround in October and November suggest that building activity should continue to expand in 2018. 

U.S. Adds 228,000 Jobs in November

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing and health care.

In November, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment rose in machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products (+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000). Since a recent low in November 2016, manufacturing employment has increased by 189,000. 

Manufacturing PMI at 58.2% in November

Manufacturing expanded in November as the PMI registered 58.2%, a decrease of 0.5% from the October reading of 58.7%. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.

"This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 15th consecutive month led by expansion in new orders and production, offset by supplier delivery improvement and declines in raw material inventory," says Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. 

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