U.S. manufacturing expanded in September, but just barely, according to the recently released Manufacturing ISM® Report on Business®. The manufacturing PMI came in at 50.9%, a 1.9% decrease from August. Anything above 50% indicates growth.
September’s expansion was the lowest rate since pandemic recovery began. Demand has eased, as new orders and new export orders have contracted. Employment has also contracted after a single month of expansion, while temporary labor is in short supply as well as up in price.
The food, beverage, and tobacco industry reported growth for the month, but also a decline in new orders, a decrease in production, slower supply deliveries, and increased prices for raw materials. On a positive note, the industry reported employment growth.
One industry respondent said, “Almost all suppliers are experiencing lead times growth. It seems no one wants to keep inventory on hand anymore.”