Last updateFri, 15 Dec 2017 3pm


Mid-America Manufacturers See 10th Straight Month of Growth

The October Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, an economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Arkansas to North Dakota, climbed to a healthy reading, according to the latest monthly survey results.

The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, rose to 58.2 from August’s 57.5. This is the 10th straight month the index has remained above growth neutral, continuing to point to positive growth for the region over the next three to six months. The durable, nondurable and nonmanufacturing sectors are adding jobs at a solid pace. Energy firms and manufacturers tied to energy are expanding at a strong pace across the region. 

U.S. Factory Activity at Highest Level in 13 Years

Manufacturing expanded in September as the PMI registered 60.8%, an increase of 2% from the August reading of 58.8%. This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 13th consecutive month and is the highest reading since May 2004, when the index registered 61.4%. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.

The Production Index registered 62.2%, a 1.2% increase compared to the August reading of 61%. The Employment Index registered 60.3%, an increase of 0.4% from the August reading of 59.9%. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 64.4%, a 7.3% increase from the August reading of 57.1%.  

60% of Manufacturers Testing Industrial Internet of Things Programs

Manufacturers are convinced the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) will help them improve operations and profitability by 10% or more, but most are struggling to develop the right plans to take advantage of the technology, according to a new IndustryWeek survey sponsored by Emerson.

The survey revealed that about 60% are exploring or investing in Industrial IoT pilot projects, but only 5% are investing against a clear business case for how to best implement the technology. The vast majority of Industrial IoT investment today is in the early stages of plan development and small-scale trials, often as part of a larger operational efficiency program. 

Second Quarter GDP Growth Highest in Two Years

Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1% in the second quarter of 2017, according to the latest estimate released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.2%. With this third estimate for the second quarter, private inventory investment increased more than previously estimated, but the general picture of economic growth remains the same.

The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter reflected an upturn in private inventory investment, an acceleration in personal consumption expenditure, a deceleration in imports and an upturn in federal government spending that were partly offset by a downturn in residential fixed investment, a deceleration in exports and a downturn in state and local government spending. 

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rose 1.7% in August

New orders for manufactured durable goods in August increased $3.9 billion or 1.7% to $232.8 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced. This increase, up two of the last three months, followed a 6.8% July decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.2%.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in August, up three of the last four months, increased $0.7 billion or 0.3% to $237.2 billion. This followed a 0.1% July increase. Machinery, up nine of the last ten months, led the increase, $0.3 billion or 1.1% to $31.4 billion. 

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