Empty new aluminum cans for drink process in factory line on conveyor belt machine at beverage manufacturing. food and beverage industrial business concept. High quality photo

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.”

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