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Moldmaking Business Activity Closes Near Two-Year High

Expansionary readings across a broad array of business measures elevated the December MoldMaking Index, ending 2020 on a positive note.
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Moldmaking Index for December 2020 hit 55.4

Expansionary readings across a broad array of business measures sent the Moldmaking Index higher in December.

The Moldmaking Index ended 2020 on a positive note thanks to a December reading of 55.4—the last time the Index was at or above this level was in early 2019. This elevated reading was, in part, a result of strong expansionary activity in new orders and production. Furthermore, a growing proportion of survey respondents reported expanding employment and backlog activity, sending both measures above the ‘no change’ level of 50 and into expansionary territory.

Increased readings for production and new orders for December.

The Moldmaking Index ended on a high note in December thanks to increased readings for both production and new orders.

December’s results, however, showed no clemency to the ongoing challenges facing manufacturing supply chains. This may not be entirely unexpected, as logistics networks spent much of the last few months of 2020 handling an unprecedented amount of holiday e-commerce packages in addition to distributing COVID-19 vaccines. Adding to the pain of slowing supplier deliveries, a rapidly growing proportion of survey respondents are indicating that the prices they are paying for those input goods are increasing. Moldmakers and molders should remain vigilant in bolstering their supply chains in the new year wherever possible in order to be ready for any future supply chain disruptions and to help control input costs.