Total MBI for November 2014


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With a reading of 52.2, the MoldMaking Business Index showed that the industry grew in November for the second month in a row. The index had been in a steady and steep decline since May, but clearly broke out of that trend in October and November. Despite this, the index contracted compared to one year earlier for the third month in a row. The industry’s annual rate of growth decelerated the last three months, but is still growing at a decent rate.

New orders grew in October and November to the fastest rate of growth since May. Production increased at a slightly slower rate in the month, and backlogs expanded for the first time since May as well. Compared to one year earlier, the backlog index grew for the first time since August, although it has been above 10.0 percent for five months. Based on the trends in backlogs, capacity utilization should continue to increase into the second quarter of 2015 and would indicate increased capital spending by the moldmaking industry this year. Employment increased in November for the first time in five months. Exports contracted for the fifth time in six months as the dollar has strengthened in recent months. Supplier deliveries lengthened at their faster rate since June.

Material prices increased at a significantly slower rate in November, its slowest rate since November 2013. Prices received decreased for the first time since July, while future business expectations have increased dramatically since August. Expectations are still below the level seen from November 2013 to June 2014, however.

After contracting in October, plants with more than 100 employees expanded in November, jumping nearly 10 points in the index. Facilities with 20-49 employees grew at a very fast rate for the third time in four months, and companies with 1-19 employees expanded for the third time since August 2012.

After contracting the previous two months, custom processors grew at their fastest rate since the index began in December 2011. Metalcutting job shops contracted in August and September, but grew in October and November at a rate similar to March-July 2014.

Future capital spending plans for the next 12 months contracted 27.2 percent compared to November 2013, therefore, the annual rate of growth decelerated significantly.