Transport equipment a big part of factory growth

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Recent reports have shown that Class 8 truck production has been hot in recent months. Turns out this week’s good news from the supply chain gurus, the Institute for Supply Management, back that up.

In ISM indices that measure growth in manufacturing and manufacturing employment, “transportation equipment” was the third fastest growing segment in February.

The main number, ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index, “registered 61.4 percent, a level last achieved in May 2004,” says ISM’s Norbert Ore. “New orders and production, driven by strength in exports in particular, continue to drive the composite index (PMI). New orders are growing significantly faster than inventories.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 report growth in February, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Textile Mills; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Wood Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

The four industries reporting contraction in February are: Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Furniture & Related Products.

The Employment Index for manufacturing, at 64.5, “is above 60 percent for only the third time in the last decade,” says ISM. “While there are many positive indicators, there is also concern as industries related to housing continue to struggle.”

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