10182017Wed
Last updateTue, 17 Oct 2017 3pm

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Dodge Momentum Index Declines 8.4%

The Dodge Momentum Index fell in September, moving 8.4% lower to 116.4 from the revised August reading of 127.1. The 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. Both components of the index declined in September. The institutional building component fell 11.5% from August, while the commercial building component fell 6.1%. While the overall Momentum Index has lost ground for four consecutive months, this should not be seen, in and of itself, as a predictor of a turn in building markets. Economic growth remains solid, and building market fundamentals are supportive of further growth in construction activity. 


U.S. Lost 33,000 Jobs in September

The U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September, after adding an average of 172,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. The unemployment rate dropped 0.2% to 4.2%. A steep employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Employment rose in health care and in transportation and warehousing.

Manufacturing employment declined by 1,000 in September. From a recent employment trough in November 2016 through August of this year, the industry had added an average of 14,000 jobs per month. 

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. 

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