Manufacturing saw strengths, weaknesses in 2012; 2013 off to a good start


Manufacturing in 2012 was sort of like the opening sentence of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” It was tough to figure out just what was happening and where manufacturing was headed.

The automotive industry was a major bright spot in 2012, and of course medical (in spite of the device tax in the ACA) and packaging (food, beverage, consumer goods, and just about anything else that goes in a package) remained strong.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the second consecutive month, with the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)registering 53.1%, an increase of 2.9% from December’s seasonally adjusted reading of 50.2%. The New Orders index registered 53.3%, an increase of 3.6% over December’s seasonally adjusted reading of 49.7%, indicating a nice jump in new orders....
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