Manufacturing data provides blueprint for economic growth

Manufacturing is indeed making a significant contribution to overall GDP growth and perhaps leading the way.

By ·

Third quarter GDP growth was up 2.5 percent compared to 1.3 percent in the second quarter. And according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), its most recent PMI, which gauges manufacturing output, hit 50.8 in October, which equates to 2.9 percent GDP growth.

As LM has reported, any PMI reading at 50 or higher indicates economic growth is occurring.

That said, manufacturing is indeed making a significant contribution to overall GDP growth and perhaps leading the way, said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, in a recent interview.

“If the rest of the sectors were at our level, real GDP would be closer to 3 percent,” said Holcomb.

What’s more, this strong manufacturing gains are coming at a time filled as any with economic uncertainty, given the current situation in Europe with the fate of the Euro hanging in the balance and myriad Southern European nations dealing with debt issues, relatively slight consumer spending here at home, and stagnant unemployment and housing markets.

The ISM’s manufacturing PMI was north of 60 for the first four months of 2011, a pace that even back then would be incredibly hard to maintain in this economic climate.

“Things were going gangbusters and in that type of environment you want to position yourself with higher inventories,” said Holcomb. “But with the PMI now in the low-50s over the past four months, lower inventory levels [October’s was 46.7] represents a bit of a wait and see attitude, with manufacturers posturing to be lean and flexible. A low inventory given the current PMI levels are good and that needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the big picture.”

And at the moment, there is now more of a broadly positive optimistic tone than there has been in the last few months, observed Holcomb.

Now, more than ever, perhaps, managing inventories correctly and proactively is more imperative than it has ever been for shippers.

This is especially true when taking a long view of the 2011 Peak Season, which was very slow to materialize, if really occur at all, due in large part to shippers being cautious in not wanting to face the ordeal of being stuck with too much stock, as was the case in a big way following the 2008 holiday season.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

· All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Download the full 2016 Modern Materials Handling Salary Survey
How does your earning power match up with your peers across the material handling industry? Materials Handling salary survey, Warehouse manager salary survey, Warehouse Salary Research
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to the line. The result is a more consistent, efficient and safer operation.
Optimizing home delivery: It takes more than planning
9th Annual Salary Survey: Success and Satisfaction Continue to Reign
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Systems Report: Whirpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...
Modern Materials Handling’s 2017 Casebook Collection
The 2017 Casebook features more than 35 case studies that put the spotlight on successful innovation...

Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...
Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...