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Index Sees Another Month of Volatile, Slowing Growth


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Registering 51.4 for August 2018, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Moldmaking recorded another month of volatile but slowing growth since reaching an all-time high in February. Compared to the same month one year ago, the Moldmaking Index is down 9.3 percent, but compared to the beginning of the calendar year, it is down 15.8 percent. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data for the month reveals that contraction in new orders and backlog and no change in employment and exports were the primary drivers of the four-point drop in the Moldmaking Index between July and August. Supplier deliveries continued its accelerating growth trajectory for another month, which helped the Moldmaking Index from falling further in August.

The latest new orders reading marks an end to the longest continuous expansion in new orders on record at almost 20 months.

The contraction in new orders was a surprise given the strength of the overall manufacturing economy in 2018. The latest new orders reading marks an end to the longest continuous expansion in new orders on record at almost 20 months. By comparison, the prior new orders record, which was set in 2014, lasted only eight months. 

About the Author

Michael Guckes

Michael Guckes is the chief economist for Gardner Intelligence, a division of Gardner Business Media (Cincinnati, Ohio, United States). He has performed economic analysis, modeling and forecasting work for nearly 20 years among a range of industries. He is available at mguckes@gardnerweb.com.

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