GBI: Moldmaking for February 2017 — 56.8

Expansion continues; moldmaking industry shows its fastest rate of growth in five years.

With a reading of 56.8, the Gardner Business Index showed that the moldmaking industry grew in February for the sixth time in seven months. It has expanded at an accelerating rate the last four months, reaching its fastest growth rate since February 2012. 

New orders increased for the second month in a row and at their fastest rate since February 2012. Production increased at a slightly slower rate in the month, but it still posted virtually its fastest growth in three years. The backlog subindex grew for the second month in a row and reached its highest level since the survey began in December 2011. Employment increased at a faster rate in the month, and the export subindex contracted for the second month in a row. Supplier deliveries have lengthened at an accelerating rate since last July. 

Material prices also have increased at an accelerating rate since last July, reaching their highest level since February 2013. Prices received likewise increased at a significant rate in February for the fourth time in six months. Future business expectations remained quite strong with a subindex above 80 for the second month in a row. Those are the only two months this subindex topped 80 in the history of the index.

Job shops expanded for the fifth time in six months, with a rate of growth that accelerated sharply in February. This subindex reached its highest level since the survey began in December 2011. Custom processors have grown every month but two since March 2016, and recorded very strong growth in the first two months of this year. 

After contracting in January, the Southeast grew in February at the fastest rate among all regions of the country and at its fastest rate since last September. The North Central-East, North Central-West and South Central regions also all grew at very strong rates, while the West grew moderately but for the first time since last July. The Northeast contracted.

Shops of all sizes expanded again in February. Plants with more than 250 employees have grown at a very strong rate every month but two since February 2016; facilities with 100-249 workers grew for the second straight month and at their fastest rate since June 2015; companies with 50-99 employees expanded for the third month in a row; those with 20-49 employees expanded for the fifth time in seven months, growing at their fastest rate since August 2014; and shops with fewer than 20 workers expanded for the sixth time in seven months, growing at their fastest rate since May 2014.

Related Content

GBI: Moldmaking for December 2016 — 51.9

Index ends the year showing accelerating growth.