January 2014 Economic Indicators

Melanie Garza - Director of Operations

Manufacturing Positioned Well for 2014

While off to a dismal start in 2013, the Manufacturing Sector gained momentum the last half of year and is positioned well for growth in 2014.  The December ISM Manufacturing index dipped slightly to 57 from November’s index at 57.3.  The November reading was the highest in 2 ½ years and caps off a seven month streak in continued growth.  Over the last 12 months, the average score was 53.9 with a low of 49 in May followed by a steady climb.  The year began at 53.1 and dropped sharply over the spring.

Several categories with the ISM manufacturing index are growing, signaling a positive outlook for 2014.  Overall, the Institute of Supply Management reports the economy has grown for 54 of the past 55 months, with indexes above the watermark of 50.  New orders, employment, prices and backlog of orders are all growing steadily.

Industries reporting the highest growth include: Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

ISM Manufacturing

Construction Grows 5%

Construction spending in 2013 outpaced 2012 with a projected 5% increase over that year. Through November, construction spending was $828 billion versus $788.8 billion for the first 11 months of 2012.  Private construction is up 8.6% over 2012, while public construction is down -0.2%.  In November, private construction grew 2.7% over the previous month according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  The 2013 final numbers will be released on February 3, 2014.

In 2013, commercial, air and land transportation, and manufacturing construction spending climbed double digits over the previous year.  Commercial spending is up 20.7% in 2013; while transportation rose 18.3%, and manufacturing soared 15.6%.  All three sectors showed increases from October to November.

On the industrial side, the chemical industry skyrocketed over 2012 with a 96% jump.  Other major investments were seen in the plastics industry with a 25.3% increase over 2012 and transportation growing 11.7%.  The food industry plummeted 25.7% in 2012, and had 9.1% less spending from October to November.  Nonmetallic mineral fibers dropped 29.2% from 2012, and computers and electronics fell nearly 40% with a 38.5% drop over the previous year.

Total Construction Spending

Questions? Please contact Melanie Garza at mgarza@teamCOACT.com