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Report offers good news on manufacturing activity

A survey of manufacturers across the Southeast is offering some good news.

Manufacturing activity in the Southeast climbed in October, pushing the monthly index to 50.4 and narrowing the gap with the National PMI, according to the Southeast’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report released by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business.

According to the report, the 1.9-point increase in the Southeast PMI to 50.4 was based primarily on the strength of new orders and employment. The National PMI increased by 0.2 points to 56.4 in October.

“The Southeast PMI experienced increases in all of the underlying components of the index, except for a 2.6-point decrease for supplier delivery time,” said Don Sabbarese, director of the Econometric Center and professor of economics at Kennesaw State. “In comparison, the national index recorded higher readings in new orders, production, employment, finished inventory and supplier delivery time.”

Six Southeastern states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee — are included in the Econometric Center’s monthly regional report.

Highlights of the October Southeast PMI include:

• New orders increased 5.3 points to 52 based on increases for Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi

• Production increased 1.0 point to 51, based on increases for Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee

• Employment increased 3.8 points to 52.9, based on increases for Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi

• Supplier delivery decreased 2.6 points to 49, based on decreases for Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee

• Finished inventory increased 2.1 points to 47.1, based on increases for Florida and Georgia

• Commodity prices increased 2.2 points to 58.8, based on price increases for Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee

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.

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