A Good Month For Georgia Manufacturing

Donald Sabbarese
Don Sabbarese 

KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 1, 2016) — The Georgia assembly line ramped up to a higher gear in February, according to monthly survey released today by Kennesaw State University.

The state’s manufacturing sector saw increases in a number of measures, but the biggest jumps came in the amount of production and in new orders, presenting a rosy picture of the present and an encouraging view of the near future.

The increases were “unexpected and unsustainable,” said economist Don Sabbarese, director emeritus of KSU’s Econometric Center in the Coles College of Business. “That said, it does suggest Georgia manufacturing is moving in the right direction.”

Based on what the state’s manufacturers say about their business, KSU’s Econometric Center calculates a series of indices and an overall index for manufacturing health.

Anything over a 50 is a sign that the business is growing.

The overall index for the month jumped 9.6 points to a robust 61.6. But the index of new orders zipped even higher, soaring 16.4 points to 68.4. Production did better still, skyrocketing 26.3 points to 76.3 points, according to the center.

Companies were hiring, the center said: The employment index was up 4.6 points to 52.6.

The previous report was also encouraging, but today’s was far stronger.

Manufacturing once accounted for a huge section of the state’s workforce and economy. But that share has been declining for decades. Still, it is significant, representing roughly 377,o00 positions,  about 8 percent of Georgia jobs.

But many companies have carved out corners of the market where they can survive, despite globalization and technology changes.

Georgia results for February contrasted with a national report on manufacturing that showed the sector weaker nationally.