US manufacturing, exports and imports get a boost in January

February 3, 2020 – For the first time in six months, all three indices of the Institute of Supply Management’ (ISM) survey of the nation’s supply managers depicted growth led by manufacturing gains.

Air Cargo
CBank 300x175

ISM’s New Export Orders Index rose to a strong 53.3 percent in January, an increase of 6 percentage points compared to the December reading of 47.3 percent. After contracting five times in the previous six months, the index moved back into growth. “New Export Orders recorded their best performance since September 2018, when the index registered 56 percent,” said Timothy Firore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

ISM’s Imports Index notched a 51.3 percent in January, 2.5 percentage points higher than the 48.8 percent reported for December. This indicates that imports grew after six consecutive months of contraction. “Imports returned to expansion territory, with the index recording its best performance since February 2019. Respondents continued to note the Lunar New Year as a significant contributor to improved performance,” said Mr. Fiore.

According to Professor Ernie Goss, PhD, director of Creighton University’s Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics, trade numbers in the 9-state Heartland region were mixed with new export orders climbing into a growth category of 52.1 from December’s weak 43.5. Regional imports sank to 46.3 from December’s 52.0.

“Approximately 56% of supply managers expect USMCA and Phase 1 Chinese agreement to have a positive impact on their business prospects,” said Prof. Goss. “Due to the trade war, 28.2% of supply managers reported changing vendors in terms of international buying.”

Comments are closed.