Georgia’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) — a reading of economic activity in the state’s manufacturing sector — decreased by 0.3 points in September to 58.3. Although an overall decrease, there were significant increases in employment and supplier deliveries—rising 17.3 points and 16.7 points respectively. The rise of new orders signals that production should remain healthy in the coming month.
The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) Report is underwritten by the Manufacturing and Distribution Group of Smith & Howard, a top Atlanta CPA firm with a focus on serving manufacturing businesses, and is produced monthly by the Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University.
Some general remarks from the September respondents:
- “Regionally, our industry is experiencing very good dynamics.”
- “Stable and solid. Biggest challenge is finding qualified individuals to hire.”
- “There has been increased government spending on infrastructure and high levels of commercial development. Customers are thinking about next year.”
Other highlights of the September PMI include:
- New orders were up 9.5 points, to 66.7.
- Production was down 10.1 points, to 54.2.
- Employment was up 17.3 points, to 70.8.
- Supplier delivery time was up 16.7 points, to 66.7.
- Finished inventory was down 34.5 points, to 33.3.
- Commodity prices were up 13.7 points, to 70.8.
The Georgia PMI provides a snapshot of manufacturing activity in the state, just as the monthly PMI released by the Institute for Supply Management provides a picture of national manufacturing activity. The national PMI was up 2.0 points in September, to 60.8. A PMI reading above 50 indicates that manufacturing activity is expanding; a reading below 50 indicates it is contracting.
The Georgia PMI reading is a composite of five variables — new orders, production, employment, supply deliveries and finished inventory. A sixth variable, commodity prices, is compiled by the Coles College’s Econometric Center but does not go into the PMI calculation.
The PMI, compiled from a monthly survey of manufacturers, is the earliest indicator of market conditions in the sector. Since manufacturing, which accounts for 11 percent of GDP, is sensitive to changes in the economy, it can also reveal changing macroeconomic trends.
The PMI’s value is in its timeliness and sensitivity to variables such as interest rates, global markets and other economic changes. The Georgia PMI provides valuable data used by institutions such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to assist in their analysis of current economic conditions, along with many other data sources, to get a picture of economic activity.