Labor shortages are affecting production volumes, but the food industry is still expanding, according to the latest ISM report. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) currently sits at 59.3%, an increase over last month, but still 2 percentage points below the 12-month high.

Here’s what the food, beverage, and tobacco industry reported for November:

  • Growth in new orders
  • Growth in production
  • Growth in employment
  • Slower supplier deliveries
  • No change in raw materials inventories
  • Customer inventories too low
  • Increased prices for raw materials
  • Growth in order backlogs
  • Growth in new export orders
  • Growth in imports

Breaking the trend of the past few months, the average lead time for capital expenditures and maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) supplies increased by 2 days each, to 152 and 35 days, respectively. The average lead time for production materials gave up its 1-day gain from October to return to 67 days.

Overall, November was the 115th straight month of growth for the overall economy and the 27th for the manufacturing sector.

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