U.S. Manufacturing Index at a 10-Year Low

The U.S. manufacturing index for December 2019 fell to 47.2 — the lowest it’s been in more than 10 years. This was the biggest contraction in manufacturing activity since June of 2009. Last month’s index reading extended the manufacturing industry’s slump to five months of consecutive contraction.

U.S. manufacturing index lower than it’s been in a decade

The last time the manufacturing sector experienced this rate of contraction — the manufacturing index registered 46.3 percent in June 2009 — the U.S. was nearing the end of the Great Recession. The U.S. is in a different position today. Slow global growth and trade disputes between the U.S. and China contributed to the recent slump in manufacturing index numbers.

Manufacturing index readings lower than 50 indicate contraction. December was the fifth consecutive month with a reading lower than 50. This followed 35 consecutive months of growth for the manufacturing industry in the U.S.

Some experts are optimistic about the future for U.S. manufacturing. Tim Fiore — chair of the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing business survey committee — told Associated Press, “We’ve probably seen the worst of it behind us.”

Others suggest that the manufacturing industry isn’t in the clear quite yet. Chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics Gregory Daco told the New York Times, “Trade uncertainty remains elevated with tariffs on two-thirds of our imports from China, global activity remains soft, and the dollar remains strong… these headwinds will continue to restrain manufacturing output in 2020.”

Control what you can control

Manufacturing indexes will rise and fall. Sometimes manufacturing activity is strong and sometimes it’s weak. There’s not much that you as an individual can do about this. You can put your business in position to thrive when conditions are good, however.

One thing that remains constant is the need for properly maintained and efficient machinery. Make sure that your factory machines are always ready to meet the demands of your consumer.

We offer preventive maintenance, inspection, repair, retrofitting, and troubleshooting for Indramat motion control systems. We successfully clear most error codes directly over the phone, and we have the nation’s largest supply of emergency replacement Indramat units when you need to replace a defective part fast.

Call 479-422-0390 for immediate support.