SouthEast Manufacturing Increases 3.0 Points To 51.8 In September

Donald Sabbarese
Donald Sabbarese

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 6, 2015) — Southeast manufacturing activity rebounded in September with higher levels for new orders, production and employment, according to the Southeast’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report released today by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business.

September’s Southeast PMI reading of 51.8 recovered 3 points from its 5.5 point drop in August based on an increase of 2.9 and 5 points for new orders and production. Employment more than recovered from its 6.3-point drop in August by increasing 8.2-points in September. Manufacturing returned to growth with an above 50 reading. However, the six-month trend for manufacturing is still weaker than the first six months of 2015.

According to Don Sabbarese, director emeritus of the Econometric Center and professor of economics at Kennesaw State University, September’s PMI rebound still leaves the PMI trend down from the first half of 2015. 

“The National PMI’s trend is following a similar pattern of weaker growth with an 0.9 point drop to 50.2,” said Sabbarese. “The National PMI’s underlying components reveal similar weakness in new orders, production and employment.”

Six Southeastern states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee — are included in the Econometric Center’s monthly regional report. Four of the six experienced higher PMI readings.

Highlights of the September Southeast PMI include:

  • New orders increased 2.9 points to 52, 0.6 point below its six-month average
  • Production increased 5.0 points to 54.1, 2.5 points below its six-month average.
  • Employment increased 8.2 points to 58.2, 1.1 points above its six-month average.
  • Supplier delivery time decreased 0.9 points to 50, 1.6 points below its six-month average.
  • Finished inventory increased 0.3 points to 44.9 points, 3.9 points below its six-month average.
  • Commodity prices increased 0.9 points to 35.7, 8.9 points below its six-month average.
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The Southeast PMI reading is a composite of five variables — new orders, production, employment, supply deliveries and finished inventory. A sixth variable, commodity prices, is compiled by the Coles College’s Econometric Center but does not go into the PMI calculation.