November 2020 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

Manufacturing PMI® at 57.5%

New Orders and Production Growing; Employment Contracting
Supplier Deliveries Slowing at Faster Rate; Backlog Growing
Raw Materials Inventories Growing; Customers’ Inventories Too Low
Prices Increasing; Exports and Imports Growing

(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in November, with the overall economy notching a seventh consecutive month of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee:

“The November Manufacturing PMI® registered 57.5 percent, down 1.8 percentage points from the October reading of 59.3 percent. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the seventh month in a row after a contraction in April, which ended a period of 131 consecutive months of growth. The New Orders Index registered 65.1 percent, down 2.8 percentage points from the October reading of 67.9 percent. The Production Index registered 60.8 percent, a decrease of 2.2 percentage points compared to the October reading of 63 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 56.9 percent, 1.2 percentage points higher compared to the October reading of 55.7 percent. The Employment Index returned to contraction territory at 48.4 percent, 4.8 percentage points down from the October reading of 53.2 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 61.7 percent, up 1.2 percentage points from the October figure of 60.5 percent. The Inventories Index registered 51.2 percent, 0.7 percentage point lower than the October reading of 51.9 percent. The Prices Index registered 65.4 percent, down 0.1 percentage point compared to the October reading of 65.5 percent. The New Export Orders Index registered 57.8 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points compared to the October reading of 55.7 percent. The Imports Index registered 55.1 percent, a 3-percentage point decrease from the October reading of 58.1 percent.”

Fiore continues, “The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in November. Survey Committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in reconfigured factories, but absenteeism, short-term shutdowns to sanitize facilities and difficulties in returning and hiring workers are causing strains that will likely limit future manufacturing growth potential. Panel sentiment, however, is optimistic (2.5 positive comments for every cautious comment), an improvement compared to October. Demand expanded, with the (1) New Orders Index growing at strong levels, supported by the New Export Orders Index expanding strongly, (2) Customers’ Inventories Index at its lowest figure since June 2010 (35.8 percent), a level considered a positive for future production, and the (3) Backlog of Orders Index expanding at a slightly faster rate compared to the previous three months. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) contributed negatively (a combined 7-percentage point decrease) to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation, with five of the top six industries continuing with moderate to strong output expansion. The Employment Index contracted after a single month of growth, primarily due to the inability to attract and retain direct labor. Inputs — expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to indicate input-driven constraints to production expansion, at higher rates compared to October, as indicated by minimal gains in inventory levels and a softening of imports. Input improvement stalled compared to October and contributed marginally to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. (The Supplier Deliveries and Inventories indexes directly factor into the Manufacturing PMI®; the Imports Index does not.) Prices continued to expand at higher rates, reflecting a clear shift to seller pricing power.

“Among the six biggest manufacturing industries, five (Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products) registered solid growth in November.

 

“Manufacturing performed well for the sixth straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering growth, but at slower rates compared to October. Labor market difficulties, both current and anticipated, at panelists’ companies and their suppliers will continue to dampen the manufacturing economy until the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis ends,” says Fiore.

 

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in November, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Textile Mills; Wood Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Chemical Products; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The two industries reporting contraction in November are: Printing & Related Support Activities; and Petroleum & Coal Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

 

  • “Suppliers are still experiencing labor shortages resulting in component constraints. However, we’re seeing life from customers, so there’s a positive outlook moving into the first quarter of 2021.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “Production issues for petrochemicals are getting resolved after a very active hurricane season. That is helping balance supply and demand.” (Chemical Products)
  • “The resurgence in COVID-19 cases is adding strain on our Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers. Multiple suppliers mentioned that finding new people is an issue with the COVID-19 situation. And there is a learning curve for new [supplier] hires, impacting production efficiency at their place.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “We are getting a lot more COVID-19 hits in our factories. We are also sending employees home for 14 days to quarantine if they were in close proximity to individuals that tested positive. We have had to shut down production lines due to lack of staffing. Cost of goods sold [COGS] is much higher than normal due to labor and production inefficiencies.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • “Jet fuel being down in consumption really hurts the refining market.” (Petroleum & Coal Products)
  • “We will finish out the fourth quarter very strong. Customers have increased demand and 2021 is expected to continue to grow.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “Sales have been steady, but down 30 percent year over year. Work hours for production are going up, but still have several on lay-off. Starting to see some inflationary pressure on materials.” (Furniture & Related Products)
  • “Business continues to be strong, with significant back-orders. Suppliers have struggled to hire people, as we have to support the increased business. We are seeing significant delays in getting parts and material from China through U.S. ports, especially [at the Port of] Long Beach. Material costs continue to hold steady. The national election and continued COVID-19 uncertainty are concerns.” (Machinery)
  • “Customer order volumes are very strong, but our suppliers are having issues meeting our orders due to people shortages.” (Plastics & Rubber Products)
  • “Our business is booming, as many customers need products ASAP. A great situation.” (Primary Metals)

Manufacturing at a Glance
November 2020

Index Series Index Nov Series Index Oct Percentage Point Change Direction Rate of Change Trend* (Months)
Manufacturing PMI® 57.5 59.3 -1.8 Growing Slower 6
New Orders 65.1 67.9 -2.8 Growing Slower 6
Production 60.8 63.0 -2.2 Growing Slower 6
Employment 48.4 53.2 -4.8 Contracting From Growing 1
Supplier Deliveries 61.7 60.5 +1.2 Slowing Faster 13
Inventories 51.2 51.9 -0.7 Growing Slower 2
Customers’ Inventories 36.3 36.7 -0.4 Too Low Faster 50
Prices 65.4 65.5 -0.1 Increasing Slower 6
Backlog of Orders 56.9 55.7 +1.2 Growing Faster 5
New Export Orders 57.8 55.7 +2.1 Growing Faster 5
Imports 55.1 58.1 -3.0 Growing Slower 5
OVERALL ECONOMY Growing Slower 7
Manufacturing Sector Growing Slower 6
Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for the New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventories indexes.
*Number of months moving in current direction.

COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE AND IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price


Acetone; Aluminum (6); Aluminum Products (2); Ammonia; Brass Products; Copper (6); Corrugate (2); Corrugate Boxes; Freight; Lumber (5); Natural Gas; Plastic Resins (3); Plywood Products; Polyethylene Resins (2); Polyurethane Foam; Polypropylene (5); Polyvinyl Chloride (2); Precious Metals (5); Propylene Glycol; Rubber Products; Soybean Products (2); Steel (4); Steel — Cold Rolled (3); Steel — Hot Rolled (3); Steel — Stainless; Steel Products (3); and Zinc Products.

Commodities Down in Price


Caustic Soda (2).

Commodities in Short Supply


Aluminum Products (2); Corrugate Boxes; Disinfectant and Cleaning Supplies; Electrical Components (2); Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — Gloves (9); PPE — Masks; Steel — Hot Rolled; and Steel Products (2).

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.

 


NOVEMBER 2020 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


Manufacturing PMI®

Manufacturing grew in November, as the Manufacturing PMI® registered 57.5 percent, 1.8 percentage points lower than the October reading of 59.3 percent. “The Manufacturing PMI® signaled a continued rebuilding of economic activity in November, with four of five contributing subindexes in moderate to strong growth territory. Employment disappointed by returning to contraction. Five (Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products) of the big six industry sectors continue to expand. The New Orders and Production indexes continued at strong expansion levels. The Supplier Deliveries Index continued to reflect suppliers’ difficulties in maintaining delivery rates due to factory labor safety issues and transportation challenges. Nine of 10 subindexes were positive for the period; a reading of ‘too low’ for Customers’ Inventories is considered a positive for future production,” says Fiore. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

A Manufacturing PMI® above 42.8 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the November Manufacturing PMI® indicates the overall economy grew in November for the seventh consecutive month following contraction in April. “The past relationship between the Manufacturing PMI® and the overall economy indicates that the Manufacturing PMI® for November (57.5 percent) corresponds to a 4.3-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis,” says Fiore.

THE LAST 12 MONTHS


Month
Manufacturing PMI®
Nov 2020 57.5
Oct 2020 59.3
Sep 2020 55.4
Aug 2020 56.0
Jul 2020 54.2
Jun 2020 52.6
Month
Manufacturing PMI®
May 2020 43.1
Apr 2020 41.5
Mar 2020 49.1
Feb 2020 50.1
Jan 2020 50.9
Dec 2019 47.8
51.5
59.3
41.5

New Orders

ISM®’s New Orders Index registered 65.1 percent in November, a decrease of 2.8 percentage points compared to the 67.9 percent reported in October. This indicates that new orders grew for the sixth consecutive month. “Five (Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Transportation Equipment) of the top six industry sectors expanded at strong levels,” says Fiore. A New Orders Index above 52.5 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau’s series on manufacturing orders (in constant 2000 dollars).

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, the 15 that reported growth in new orders in November — in the following order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Textile Mills; Wood Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Primary Metals; and Transportation Equipment. The two industries reporting a decline in new orders in November are: Printing & Related Support Activities; and Petroleum & Coal Products.

New Orders % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 35.9 50.1 14.0 +21.9 65.1
Oct 2020 40.3 49.2 10.5 +29.8 67.9
Sep 2020 35.2 45.9 18.9 +16.3 60.2
Aug 2020 39.7 47.4 12.9 +26.8 67.6

Production

The Production Index registered 60.8 percent in November, 2.2 percentage points below the October reading of 63 percent, indicating growth for the sixth consecutive month and the fifth consecutive month above 60 percent. “Five (Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products) of the top six industries expanded moderately to strongly,” says Fiore. An index above 51.7 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production figures.

The 14 industries reporting growth in production during the month of November — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Wood Products; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Machinery; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The only industry reporting decreased production in November is Petroleum & Coal Products.

Production % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 33.7 52.0 14.3 +19.4 60.8
Oct 2020 37.4 51.0 11.7 +25.7 63.0
Sep 2020 34.3 50.9 14.8 +19.5 61.0
Aug 2020 38.3 48.6 13.2 +25.1 63.3

Employment

ISM®’s Employment Index registered 48.4 percent in November, 4.8 percentage points lower than the October reading of 53.2 percent. “Following one month of expansion, the Employment Index moved back into contraction territory. However, the November figure is 20.9 percentage points above the index’s low of 27.5 percent registered in April. Only two (Fabricated Metal Products; and Chemical Products) of the six big industry sectors expanded. Continued strong new-order levels and an expanding backlog indicate potential employment strength for the remainder of the fourth quarter. For the third straight month and with increased frequency, survey panelists’ comments indicate that significantly more companies are hiring or attempting to hire than those reducing labor forces,” says Fiore. An Employment Index above 50.8 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, the eight industries to report employment growth in November — in the following order — are: Wood Products; Textile Mills; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; and Chemical Products. The seven industries reporting a decrease in employment in November — in the following order — are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; Paper Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Transportation Equipment.

Employment % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 14.8 66.4 18.9 -4.1 48.4
Oct 2020 23.1 59.3 17.7 +5.4 53.2
Sep 2020 19.4 58.9 21.7 -2.3 49.6
Aug 2020 17.1 59.3 23.6 -6.5 46.4

Supplier Deliveries*

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was slower in November, as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 61.7 percent. This is 1.2 percentage points higher than the 60.5 percent reported in October. “Suppliers continue to struggle to deliver, with deliveries slowing at a faster rate compared to October. Transportation challenges and challenges in supplier labor markets are still constraining production growth, the latter likely to last until COVID-19 is controlled. The Supplier Deliveries Index reflects the difficulties suppliers continue to experience due to COVID-19 impacts. Supplier constraints are not expected to diminish soon, and supplier labor issues appear to be worsening,” says Fiore. A reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries, while a reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

Sixteen industries reported slower supplier deliveries in November, listed in the following order: Furniture & Related Products; Wood Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Textile Mills; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; and Transportation Equipment. No industries reported faster supplier deliveries in November.

Supplier Deliveries % Slower % Same % Faster Net Index
Nov 2020 27.5 68.4 4.1 +23.4 61.7
Oct 2020 24.7 71.5 3.8 +20.9 60.5
Sep 2020 24.0 70.0 6.1 +17.9 59.0
Aug 2020 23.4 69.6 7.1 +16.3 58.2

Inventories

The Inventories Index registered 51.2 percent in November, 0.7 percentage point lower than the 51.9 percent reported for October. Inventories grew for a second consecutive month after three months of contraction. “Inventory growth, in light of ongoing supplier constraints, indicate that supply chains are continuing to improve performance in meeting production demand, but at slower rates compared to the prior month,” says Fiore. An Inventories Index greater than 44.3 percent, over time, is generally consistent with expansion in the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) figures on overall manufacturing inventories (in chained 2000 dollars).

The five industries reporting higher inventories in November are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Chemical Products. The 11 industries reporting a decrease in inventories in November — listed in order — are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Wood Products; Textile Mills; Paper Products; Furniture & Related Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.

Inventories % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 18.1 62.4 19.4 -1.3 51.2
Oct 2020 21.3 59.9 18.8 +2.5 51.9
Sep 2020 16.9 61.6 21.5 -4.6 47.1
Aug 2020 13.3 65.2 21.5 -8.2 44.4

Customers’ Inventories*

ISM®’s Customers’ Inventories Index registered 36.3 percent in November, 0.4 percentage point lower than the 36.7 percent reported for October, indicating that customers’ inventory levels were considered too low. “Customers’ inventories are too low for the 50th consecutive month and moved further into ‘too low’ territory in November, a positive for future production growth. For four months in a row, the index has been at its lowest levels in more than a decade (a reading of 35.8 percent in June 2010),” says Fiore.

Of the 18 industries, the only one reporting higher customers’ inventories in November is Apparel, Leather & Allied Products. The 16 industries reporting customers’ inventories as too low during November — listed in order — are: Wood Products; Primary Metals; Paper Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Textile Mills; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Furniture & Related Products; Chemical Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

Customers’ Inventories % Reporting % Too High % About Right % Too Low Net Index
Nov 2020 78 6.7 59.3 34.0 -27.3 36.3
Oct 2020 77 6.8 59.7 33.5 -26.7 36.7
Sep 2020 76 10.2 55.4 34.5 -24.3 37.9
Aug 2020 75 7.5 61.0 31.4 -23.9 38.1

Prices*

The ISM® Prices Index registered 65.4 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point compared to the October reading of 65.5 percent, indicating raw materials prices increased for the sixth consecutive month. “Aluminum, copper, steel, transportation costs, corrugate, basic chemicals, and plastics all continued to record price increases,” says Fiore. A Prices Index above 52.5 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index for Intermediate Materials.

The 17 industries reporting paying increased prices for raw materials in November — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Wood Products; Paper Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Printing & Related Support Activities; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. No industries reported decreased prices in November.

Prices % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 36.7 57.3 6.0 +30.7 65.4
Oct 2020 35.4 60.1 4.5 +30.9 65.5
Sep 2020 32.3 60.9 6.8 +25.5 62.8
Aug 2020 27.4 64.3 8.3 +19.1 59.5

Backlog of Orders*

ISM®’s Backlog of Orders Index registered 56.9 percent in November, a 1.2-percentage point increase compared to the 55.7 percent reported in October, indicating order backlogs expanded for the fifth consecutive month. “Backlogs expanded at faster rates in November, indicating that new-order intakes more than fully offset production outputs. Four (Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; and Computer & Electronic Products) of the six big industry sectors’ backlogs expanded. The index achieved its highest reading since August 2018 (57.5 percent),” says Fiore.

The 12 industries reporting growth in order backlogs in November, in the following order, are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Primary Metals; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products. In November, four industries reported lower backlogs: Textile Mills; Printing & Related Support Activities; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.

Backlog of Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 89 28.9 56.1 15.0 +13.9 56.9
Oct 2020 91 27.1 57.2 15.7 +11.4 55.7
Sep 2020 87 26.1 58.3 15.7 +10.4 55.2
Aug 2020 89 29.0 51.3 19.7 +9.3 54.6

New Export Orders*

ISM®’s New Export Orders Index registered 57.8 percent in November, an increase of 2.1 percentage points compared to the October reading of 55.7 percent. “The New Export Orders Index grew for the fifth consecutive month and at a faster rate, reaching its highest level since March 2018 (58.7 percent). With three (Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products) of the six big industry sectors expanding, new export orders were again a positive factor to the growth in new orders,” says Fiore.

The 10 industries reporting growth in new export orders in November — in the following order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; and Machinery. In November, two industries reported a decrease in new export orders: Primary Metals; and Transportation Equipment.

New Export Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 73 22.3 70.9 6.8 +15.5 57.8
Oct 2020 76 18.5 74.5 7.0 +11.5 55.7
Sep 2020 72 19.7 69.2 11.1 +8.6 54.3
Aug 2020 75 18.4 69.6 11.9 +6.5 53.3

Imports*

ISM®’s Imports Index registered 55.1 percent in November, a decline of 3 percentage points compared to the 58.1 percent reported for October. “Imports expanded for the fifth consecutive month, at a slower rate, reflecting continued increases in U.S. factory demand, but at slower rates,” says Fiore.

The 11 industries reporting growth in imports in November — in the following order — are: Paper Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Chemical Products. Three industries reported a decrease in new export orders in November: Printing & Related Support Activities; Furniture & Related Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products.

Imports % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Nov 2020 85 17.1 76.0 6.9 +10.2 55.1
Oct 2020 87 20.7 74.8 4.5 +16.2 58.1
Sep 2020 86 17.1 73.9 9.0 +8.1 54.0
Aug 2020 87 18.2 74.9 6.9 +11.3 55.6
*The Supplier Deliveries, Customers’ Inventories, Prices, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders and Imports indexes do not meet the accepted criteria for seasonal adjustments.

Buying Policy

Average commitment lead time for Capital Expenditures was unchanged in November at 140 days. Average lead time for Production Materials increased in November by five days to 67 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies increased in November by six days to 40 days.

Percent Reporting

Capital Expenditures Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
Nov 2020 22 6 10 16 27 19 140
Oct 2020 23 5 8 17 29 18 140
Sep 2020 25 6 9 15 27 18 135
Aug 2020 25 6 9 16 25 19 136

Percent Reporting

Production Materials Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
Nov 2020 10 35 24 22 6 3 67
Oct 2020 10 38 25 19 6 2 62
Sep 2020 10 36 27 18 7 2 64
Aug 2020 10 33 26 22 7 2 66

Percent Reporting

MRO Supplies Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
Nov 2020 34 36 16 10 3 1 40
Oct 2020 34 39 17 8 2 0 34
Sep 2020 35 39 15 8 3 0 35
Aug 2020 36 35 15 9 4 1 40

About This Report


DO NOT CONFUSE THIS NATIONAL REPORT with the various regional purchasing reports released across the country. The national report’s information reflects the entire U.S., while the regional reports contain primarily regional data from their local vicinities. Also, the information in the regional reports is not used in calculating the results of the national report. The information compiled in this report is for the month of November 2020.

The data presented herein is obtained from a survey of manufacturing supply executives based on information they have collected within their respective organizations. ISM® makes no representation, other than that stated within this release, regarding the individual company data collection procedures. The data should be compared to all other economic data sources when used in decision-making.

Data and Method of Presentation


The Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. The composition of the Manufacturing Business Survey Committee is stratified according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and each of the following NAICS-based industry’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP): Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Paper Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing (products such as medical equipment and supplies, jewelry, sporting goods, toys and office supplies). The data are weighted based on each industry’s contribution to GDP. According to the BEA estimates for 2018 GDP (released October 29, 2019), the six largest manufacturing sub-sectors are: Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Fabricated Metal Products. Beginning in February 2018 with January 2018 data, computation of the indexes is accomplished utilizing unrounded numbers.

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Imports, Production, Supplier Deliveries, Inventories, Customers’ Inventories, Employment and Prices), this report shows the percentage reporting each response, the net difference between the number of responses in the positive economic direction (higher, better and slower for Supplier Deliveries) and the negative economic direction (lower, worse and faster for Supplier Deliveries), and the diffusion index. Responses are raw data and are never changed. The diffusion index includes the percent of positive responses plus one-half of those responding the same (considered positive).

The resulting single index number for those meeting the criteria for seasonal adjustments (Manufacturing PMI®, New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventories) is then seasonally adjusted to allow for the effects of repetitive intra-year variations resulting primarily from normal differences in weather conditions, various institutional arrangements, and differences attributable to non-moveable holidays. All seasonal adjustment factors are subject annually to relatively minor changes when conditions warrant them. The Manufacturing PMI® is a composite index based on the diffusion indexes of five of the indexes with equal weights: New Orders (seasonally adjusted), Production (seasonally adjusted), Employment (seasonally adjusted), Supplier Deliveries (seasonally adjusted), and Inventories.

Diffusion indexes have the properties of leading indicators and are convenient summary measures showing the prevailing direction of change and the scope of change. A Manufacturing PMI® reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining. A Manufacturing PMI® above 42.8 percent, over a period of time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 42.8 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 42.8 percent is indicative of the extent of the expansion or decline. With some of the indicators within this report, ISM® has indicated the departure point between expansion and decline of comparable government series, as determined by regression analysis. The Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® survey is sent out to Manufacturing Business Survey Committee respondents the first part of each month. Respondents are asked to report on information for the current month for U.S. operations only. ISM® receives survey responses throughout most of any given month, with the majority of respondents generally waiting until late in the month to submit responses to give the most accurate picture of current business activity. ISM® then compiles the report for release on the first business day of the following month.

The industries reporting growth, as indicated in the Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® monthly report, are listed in the order of most growth to least growth. For the industries reporting contraction or decreases, those are listed in the order of the highest level of contraction/decrease to the least level of contraction/decrease.

Responses to Buying Policy reflect the percent reporting the current month’s lead time, the approximate weighted number of days ahead for which commitments are made for Capital Expenditures; Production Materials; and Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies, expressed as hand-to-mouth (five days), 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six months (180 days), a year or more (360 days), and the weighted average number of days. These responses are raw data, never revised, and not seasonally adjusted since there is no significant seasonal pattern.

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About Institute for Supply Management®


Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) serves supply management professionals in more than 90 countries. Its 50,000 members around the world manage about US$1 trillion in corporate and government supply chain procurement annually. Founded in 1915 as the first supply management institute in the world, ISM is committed to advancing the practice of supply management to drive value and competitive advantage for its members, contributing to a prosperous and sustainable world. ISM leads the profession through the ISM Report On Business®, its highly regarded certification programs and the ISM Mastery Model®. This report has been issued by the association since 1931, except for a four-year interruption during World War II.

The full text version of the Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® is posted on ISM®’s website at www.ismrob.org on the first business day* of every month after 10:00 a.m. ET.

The next Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® featuring December 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

*Unless the New York Stock Exchange is closed.