Supplier Deliveries and Production Lift Precision Machining Index
April saw the Gardner Business Index: Precision Machining expand to 55.1. Compared with the same month one year ago, the Index is 1.8% lower, indicating slowing growth. Index readings above 50 indicate expanding business activity while a value of 50 indicates no change, and a reading below 50 indicates contracting business activity. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying components of the Index revealed that it was led higher by accelerating activity in supplier deliveries, production and employment. The Index—a calculated average of its six components—was pulled lower by exports and backlogs and only slightly by new orders. No components reported contracting during April.
For the first time since January, the export activity reading registered above 50, indicating export activity expansion. When combined with slowing growth in new orders and an April increase in production and supplier deliveries activity, backlog activity remained subdued. In the six-month period ending in April, the backlog components have registered an average reading of 50.3. Industry employment remains optimistic, as activity in this area has trended upward since the fourth quarter of 2018.