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U.S. Manufacturing Contraction Persists

Nationwide manufacturing contracted for the 12th month in a row according to the closely watched PMI measure from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM).  According to ISM, “the U.S. manufacturing sector continued to contract and at a faster rate in October.”  The PMI for the month came in at 46.7, a drop of 2.3 points from September’s reading of 49.0.  Here are selected quotes from various industry sectors:

“Markets remain tough, and we have focused more resources on sales and marketing.” [Computer & Electronic Products]

“Economy absolutely slowing down. Less optimism regarding the first quarter of 2024.” [Chemical Products]

“Backlog is starting to dip a bit. We’re hearing of cutbacks in 2024 ordering, but it’s still very strong compared to historical averages.” [Transportation Equipment]

“Markets appear to have slightly slowed. Certain commodities remain high.” [Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products]

“Seeing a slowdown on bookings, and our backlog is down to five days from 15 weeks earlier this year.” [Machinery]

“A slow fourth quarter, and we’re clearly in a mild industry recession.” [Fabricated Metal Products]

“Business is decent — not great, but steady and solid.” [Furniture & Related Products]

“Commercial constructions continue to remain ahead of 2022. We have some concern over 2024.” [Nonmetallic Mineral Products]

“Demand for raw materials/chemicals appears to be stable heading into the fourth quarter.” [Petroleum & Coal Products]

“Orders continue to increase in some sectors. Construction industry-related products/orders are slowing down.” [Plastics & Rubber Products]

“Despite the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike, there’s a firmness and pickup in orders for the rest of the fourth quarter.” [Primary Metals]


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