01222018Mon
Last updateMon, 22 Jan 2018 6pm

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Empire State Index at Highest Level Since 2014

Business activity grew at a robust pace in New York State, according to firms responding to the October 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed six points to 30.2, its highest level in three years. The new orders index came in at 18.0 and the shipments index rose eleven points to 27.5—readings that pointed to ongoing solid gains in orders and shipments. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms continued to be optimistic about future conditions. 


Consumer Confidence Rises in October

The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment surged in early October, reaching its highest level since the start of 2004. The data indicate a robust outlook for consumer spending that extends the current expansion to at least mid-2018, which would mark the second longest expansion since the mid 1800's. While the early October surge indicates greater optimism about the future course of the economy, it also reflects an unmistakable sense among consumers that economic prospects are now about as good as could be expected. 

Global Manufacturing Growth Remains Solid in September

The global manufacturing economy continued to expand at a solid and steady pace during September. The J.P.Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI posted 53.2, unchanged from August’s 75-month high. Manufacturing production rose at the quickest pace in six months, underpinned by further increases in both total new orders and international trade volumes. The continued upturn in new order inflows exerted further pressure on capacity, leading to one of the steepest increases in backlogs of work over the past three-and-a-half years. This in turn encouraged manufacturers to raise employment to the greatest extent since May 2011. 

IHS Markit Signals Further Improvement in Manufacturing Conditions

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered 53.1 in September, up slightly on the flash reading of 53.0 and rising from 52.8 in August. The upturn signaled a slight pick-up in growth momentum and a strong improvement in overall operating conditions across the sector.

September survey data signaled a further improvement in operating conditions across the U.S. manufacturing sector. The overall upturn was supported by further growth in output and new orders. Strong client demand was a key factor behind the fastest rise in staffing levels so far this year. Business confidence also remained strong, despite slipping since August. On the price front, cost pressures intensified, with input prices increasing at the quickest pace since December 2012. Output charges meanwhile rose at the steepest rate for five months. 

IMF: Weak Productivity Growth Holding Back U.S. Economy

The global upswing in economic activity is strengthening, with global growth projected to rise to 3.6% in 2017 and 3.7% in 2018. Broad-based upward revisions in the euro area, Japan, emerging Asia, emerging Europe and Russia more than offset downward revisions for the U.S. and UK. But the recovery is not complete: while the baseline outlook is strengthening, growth remains weak in many countries, and inflation is below target in most advanced economies. Commodity exporters, especially of fuel, are particularly hard hit as their adjustment to a sharp stepdown in foreign earnings continues. 

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