Manufacturing rises for 9th straight month; supply chains depleted
March 2, 2021 | 5:46 pm UTC
U.S. manufacturing activity rose again in February, marking the ninth consecutive month of growth, according to the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) monthly manufacturing index.
But many industries are seeing dwindling or nearly totally depleted supply chains.
"The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in February," says Timothy Fiore, ISM Chairman. "Survey Committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in reconfigured factories. Issues with absenteeism, short-term shutdowns to sanitize facilities, and difficulties in hiring workers remain challenges and continue to cause strains that limit manufacturing-growth potential. Optimistic panel sentiment increased, with five positive comments for every cautious comment, compared to a 3-to-1 ratio in January."
Sixteen of the 18 manufacturing industries recognized by the ISM saw growth. Wood products and furniture both made the list.
Nearly every industry reported extreme demand and depleted supply chains. Here are some comments from respondents:
- "Prices are rising so rapidly that many are wondering if [the situation] is sustainable. Shortages have the industry concerned for supply going forward, at least deep into the second quarter." (Wood Products)
- "Overall capacities are full across our industry. Logistics times are at record times. Continuing to fight through shipping and increased lead times on both raw materials and finished goods due to the pandemic." (Fabricated Metal Products)
- "Prices are going up, and lead times are growing longer by the day. While business and backlog remain strong, the supply chain is going to be stretched very [thin] to keep up." (Machinery)
- "Things are now out of control. Everything is a mess, and we are seeing wide-scale shortages." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
- "Labor shortages at suppliers are affecting material deliveries and prices." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
- "We have seen our new-order log increase by 40 percent over the last two months. We are overloaded with orders and do not have the personnel to get product out the door on schedule." (Primary Metals)
- "A sense of urgency is being felt regarding new orders. Customers are giving an impression that a presence of stability is forthcoming and order flow is increasing." (Textile Mills)
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