This report reflects the recently completed annual adjustments to the seasonal factors used to calculate the indexes.

Manufacturing PMI® at 58.7%

January 2021 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

New Orders, Production & Employment Growing
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 January, with the overall economy notching an eighth 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 January Manufacturing PMI® registered 58.7 percent, down 1.8 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 60.5 percent. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the eighth month in a row after contraction in March, April, and May. The New Orders Index registered 61.1 percent, down 6.4 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 67.5 percent. The Production Index registered 60.7 percent, a decrease of 4 percentage points compared to the seasonally adjusted December reading of 64.7 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 59.7 percent, 0.6 percentage point above the December reading of 59.1 percent. The Employment Index registered 52.6 percent, 0.9 percentage point higher from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 51.7 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 68.2 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from the December figure of 67.7 percent. The Inventories Index registered 50.8 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 51 percent. The Prices Index registered 82.1 percent, up 4.5 percentage points compared to the December reading of 77.6 percent. The New Export Orders Index registered 54.9 percent, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points compared to the December reading of 57.5 percent. The Imports Index registered 56.8 percent, a 2.2-percentage point increase from the December reading of 54.6 percent.”

Fiore continues, “The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in January. 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 continuing to cause strains that limit manufacturing growth potential. However, panel sentiment remains optimistic (three positive comments for every cautious comment), similar to December levels. Demand expanded, with the (1) New Orders Index growing at a strong level, supported by the New Export Orders Index expanding, (2) Customers’ Inventories Index remaining in ‘too low’ territory and at a level considered a positive for future production, and the (3) Backlog of Orders Index remaining at high levels. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) contributed negatively (a combined 3.1-percentage point decrease) to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. Five of the top six industries reported moderate to strong expansion. The Employment Index expanded for a second straight month, but panelists continue to note difficulties in attracting and retaining labor at their companies and supplier facilities. Inputs — expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to indicate input-driven constraints to production expansion, at higher rates compared to December, as indicated by minimal gains in inventory levels and declining supplier performance. Imports expanded in the period, despite port backlogs, but not at levels desired by panelists. Supplier delivery struggles continued, contributing moderately to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. (The Supplier Deliveries and Inventories indexes directly factor into the Manufacturing PMI®; the Imports Index does not.) The Prices Index surged dramatically in January, hitting a level last reached in April 2011, indicating continued supplier pricing power.

“Of the six biggest manufacturing industries, five — Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products — registered moderate to strong growth in January. Petroleum & Coal Products contracted.

“Manufacturing performed well for the eighth straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering strong growth compared to December. Labor market difficulties at panelists’ companies and their suppliers will continue to restrict the manufacturing economy expansion until the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis abates,” says Fiore.

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

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • “Supplier factory capacity is well utilized. Increased demand, labor constraints and upstream supply delays are pushing lead times. This is more prevalent with international than U.S.-based suppliers.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “Business remains strong. Manufacturing running at full capacity.” (Chemical Products)
  • “Very strong demand with limitations in supply to meet increased demand.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “Labor continues to be one of our largest challenges.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • “Our current business demand is going way past pre-COVID-19 [levels].” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “Business is very good. Customer inventories are low, with a significant order backlog through April. Supply base is struggling to keep up with demand, disrupting our production here and there. Raw material lead times have been extended. COVID-19 continues to cause challenges throughout the supply chain. Huge logistics challenges, especially in getting product through ports and in getting containers. We are seeing significant cost increases in logistics and raw materials.” (Machinery)
  • “We have had an increase in employees testing positive for COVID-19, negatively impacting manufacturing.” (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • “2020 growth at 5 percent during a very challenging and volatile year. 2021 is expected to bring growth at a 7-percent or even greater pace. Logistics is the critical concern, but we are currently abating risk.” (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
  • “January 2021 started with strong orders for plastic components in auto, electrical and other sectors. The industry outlook is optimistic. Looking at investing in new equipment for anticipated demand later this year. Reshoring is taking hold, with new customer potential.” (Plastics & Rubber Products)
  • “Business is improving, but we are still struggling with a shortage of available labor.” (Primary Metals)

Manufacturing at a Glance
January 2021

Index Series Index Jan Series Index Dec Percentage Point Change Direction Rate of Change Trend* (Months)
Manufacturing PMI® 58.7 60.5 -1.8 Growing Slower 8
New Orders 61.1 67.5 -6.4 Growing Slower 8
Production 60.7 64.7 -4.0 Growing Slower 8
Employment 52.6 51.7 +0.9 Growing Faster 2
Supplier Deliveries 68.2 67.7 +0.5 Slowing Faster 59
Inventories 50.8 51.0 -0.2 Growing Slower 4
Customers’ Inventories 33.1 37.9 -4.8 Too Low Faster 54
Prices 82.1 77.6 +4.5 Increasing Faster 8
Backlog of Orders 59.7 59.1 +0.6 Growing Faster 7
New Export Orders 54.9 57.5 -2.6 Growing Slower 7
Imports 56.8 54.6 +2.2 Growing Faster 7
OVERALL ECONOMY Growing Slower 8
Manufacturing Sector Growing Slower 8

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.
Indexes reflect newly released seasonal adjustment factors.

COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE AND IN SHORT SUPPLY


Commodities Up in Price


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Plastic; Aluminum (8); Ammonia; Brass Products (3); Calcium Carbonate; Copper (8); Corn; Corrugate (4); Corrugated Boxes (3); Crude Oil (2); Diesel; Electrical Components (2); Electronic Components (2); Ethylene; Freight (3); High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE); Isocyanates (2); Liquid-Crystal Display (LCD); Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) Resins; Lumber (7); Memory; Natural Gas; Nylon Fiber; Ocean Freight (2); Oil-Based Lubricants (2); Packaging Supplies (2); Paper Products (2); Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — Gloves (2); Plastic Resins (5); Plating Services; Precious Metals; Propylene; Polypropylene (7); Polyols; Polyvinyl Chloride (4); Printed Circuit Boards; Soybean Products (4); Steel (6); Steel — Galvanized; Steel — High Carbon (2); Steel — Cold Rolled (5); Steel — Hot Rolled (5); Steel Products (5); Steel — Scrap (2); Steel — Stainless (3); Sulfuric Acid; and Wood — Pallets (2).


Commodities Down in Price


Caustic Soda.


Commodities in Short Supply


Copper; Corrugate; Corrugated Boxes (3); Electrical Components (4); Electronic Components (2); Freight — Road; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — Gloves (11); Semiconductors (2); Steel (2); Steel — Cold Rolled; Steel — Fabricated; and Steel — Hot Rolled (3).

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

 


JANUARY 2021 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


Manufacturing PMI®

Manufacturing grew in January, as the Manufacturing PMI® registered 58.7 percent, 1.8 percentage points lower than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 60.5 percent. “The Manufacturing PMI® continued to indicate strong sector expansion and U.S. economic growth in January. All five contributing subindexes were in growth territory, but at lower rates compared to December. Of the six biggest manufacturing industries, five — Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products — expanded. The New Orders and Production indexes continued to expand at strong levels. The Supplier Deliveries Index continued to reflect suppliers’ difficulties in maintaining delivery rates, due to factory labor-safety issues and transportation challenges. All 10 subindexes were positive for the period; a reading of ‘too low’ for Customers’ Inventories Index 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 43.1 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the January Manufacturing PMI® indicates the overall economy grew in January for the eighth consecutive month following contractions in March, April, and May. “The past relationship between the Manufacturing PMI® and the overall economy indicates that the Manufacturing PMI® for December (58.7 percent) corresponds to a 4.4-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis,” says Fiore.

THE LAST 12 MONTHS


Month
Manufacturing PMI®
Jan 2021 58.7
Dec 2020 60.5
Nov 2020 57.7
Oct 2020 58.8
Sep 2020 55.7
Aug 2020 55.6
Month
Manufacturing PMI®
Jul 2020 53.7
Jun 2020 52.2
May 2020 43.1
Apr 2020 41.7
Mar 2020 49.7
Feb 2020 50.3
53.1
60.5
41.7

New Orders

ISM®’s New Orders Index registered 61.1 percent in January, a decrease of 6.4 percentage points compared to the seasonally adjusted 67.5 percent reported in December. This indicates that new orders grew for the eighth consecutive month. “Five of the six largest manufacturing sectors —Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products — expanded. Petroleum & Coal Products retained its prior month level of growth,” says Fiore. A New Orders Index above 52.8 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 13 that reported growth in new orders in January — in the following order — are: Primary Metals; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; Wood Products; Paper Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Furniture & Related Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. The two industries reporting a decline in new orders in January are: Printing & Related Support Activities; and Textile Mills.

New Orders % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 37.0 51.0 12.0 +25.0 61.1
Dec 2020 40.3 45.1 14.6 +25.7 67.5
Nov 2020 35.9 50.1 14.0 +21.9 65.7
Oct 2020 40.3 49.2 10.5 +29.8 66.9

Production

The Production Index registered 60.7 percent in January, 4 percentage points lower than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 64.7 percent, indicating growth for the eighth consecutive month. “Five (Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products) of the top six industries expanded at moderate to strong levels,” says Fiore. An index above 52.1 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production figures.

The 12 industries reporting growth in production during the month of January — listed in order — are: Machinery; Primary Metals; Wood Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Paper Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. The two industries reporting decreased production in January are: Printing & Related Support Activities; and Textile Mills.

Production % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 30.8 57.8 11.4 +19.4 60.7
Dec 2020 32.3 54.6 13.1 +19.2 64.7
Nov 2020 33.7 52.0 14.3 +19.4 62.2
Oct 2020 37.4 51.0 11.7 +25.7 63.1

Employment

ISM®’s Employment Index registered 52.6 percent in January, 0.9 percentage point higher than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 51.7 percent. “The Employment Index grew for the second month in a row with only one (Chemical Products) of the six big industry sectors expanding. Continued strong new-order levels, low customer inventories and an expanding backlog indicate potential employment strength for the rest of the first quarter. For the fifth straight month, 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 50.6 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 six industries to report employment growth in January — in the following order — are: Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Wood Products; Primary Metals; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Chemical Products. The seven industries reporting a decrease in employment in January — listed in the following order — are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.

Employment % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 13.9 72.2 13.8 +0.1 52.6
Dec 2020 14.9 68.8 16.3 -1.4 51.7
Nov 2020 14.8 66.4 18.9 -4.1 48.3
Oct 2020 23.1 59.3 17.7 +5.4 52.1

Supplier Deliveries*

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was slower in January, as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 68.2 percent. This is 0.5 percentage point higher than the 67.7 percent reported in December. “Suppliers continue to struggle to deliver, with deliveries slowing at a faster rate compared to the previous month. Transportation challenges and challenges in supplier-labor markets are still constraining production growth — and to a greater extent compared to December. The Supplier Deliveries Index reflects the difficulties suppliers continue to experience due to COVID-19 impacts combined with strong growth in economic activity. Since stable manufacturing began in August 2020, the index has gone up every month, indicating that suppliers are experiencing greater difficulties in meeting factory needs. Supplier labor and transportation constraints are not expected to diminish in the near-to-moderate term due to COVID-19 impacts,” says Fiore. A reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries, while a reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

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

Supplier Deliveries % Slower % Same % Faster Net Index
Jan 2021 39.9 56.5 3.5 +36.4 68.2
Dec 2020 39.5 56.3 4.2 +35.3 67.7*
Nov 2020 27.5 68.4 4.1 +23.4 61.7
Oct 2020 24.7 71.5 3.8 +20.9 60.5

*Supplier Deliveries is no longer seasonally adjusted; however, due to more precise rounding, this number increased by 0.1 percentage point.

Inventories

The Inventories Index registered 50.8 percent in January, 0.2 percentage point lower than the seasonally adjusted 51 percent reported for December. Inventories grew for a fourth consecutive month after three months of contraction. “Inventory growth stability in light of ongoing supplier constraints indicates that supply chains are meeting near-term production demand, despite transportation and COVID-19 headwinds. However, delivery rates are not strong enough to grow inventory, as many panelists would prefer,” says Fiore. An Inventories Index greater than 44.5 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 seven industries reporting higher inventories in January — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Chemical Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; and Transportation Equipment. The four industries reporting a decrease in inventories in January are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Fabricated Metal Products. Seven industries reported no change in January compared to December.

Inventories % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 18.1 65.6 16.3 +1.8 50.8
Dec 2020 22.1 53.5 24.4 -2.3 51.0
Nov 2020 18.1 62.4 19.4 -1.3 50.8
Oct 2020 21.3 59.9 18.8 +2.5 51.6

Customers' Inventories*

ISM®’s Customers’ Inventories Index registered 33.1 percent in January, 4.8 percentage points lower than the 37.9 percent reported for December, indicating that customers’ inventory levels were considered too low. “Customers’ inventories are too low for the 54th consecutive month, a positive for future production growth. This is the lowest reading since December 2009 (32.5 percent), and for six months in a row, the Customers’ Inventories Index has been at its lowest levels since December 2009-June 2010, when it averaged 35.2 percent,” says Fiore.

Of the 18 industries, the only one reporting higher customers’ inventories in January is Printing & Related Support Activities. The 14 industries reporting customers’ inventories as too low during January — listed in order — are: Wood Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Plastics & Rubber Products; Paper Products; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

Customers' Inventories % Reporting % Too High % About Right % Too Low Net Index
Jan 2021 75 3.3 59.6 37.1 -33.8 33.1
Dec 2020 75 7.2 61.4 31.4 -24.2 37.9
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

Prices*

The ISM® Prices Index registered 82.1 percent, an increase of 4.5 percentage points compared to the December reading of 77.6 percent, indicating raw materials prices increased for the eighth consecutive month. This is the highest reading since April 2011, when the index registered 82.6 percent. “Aluminum, brass, copper, chemicals, steel, soy and corn products, petroleum-based products including plastics, transportation costs, electrical and electronic components, corrugate, wood and lumber products all continued to record price increases,” says Fiore. A Prices Index above 52.7 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index for Intermediate Materials.

All 18 industries reported paying increased prices for raw materials in January, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Textile Mills; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities.

Prices % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 64.3 35.7 0.0 +64.3 82.1
Dec 2020 57.8 39.7 2.6 +55.2 77.6
Nov 2020 36.7 57.3 6.0 +30.7 65.4
Oct 2020 35.4 60.1 4.5 +30.9 65.5

Backlog of Orders*

ISM®’s Backlog of Orders Index registered 59.7 percent in January, a 0.6-percentage point increase compared to the 59.1 percent reported in December, indicating order backlogs expanded for the seventh consecutive month. “Backlogs expanded at slightly faster rates in January, indicating that new-order intakes more than fully offset production outputs for the ninth straight month. Four (Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Chemical Products) of the six big industry sectors’ backlogs expanded with significant strength. Backlogs achieved their highest expansion levels since June 2018, when the index registered 60.1 percent,” says Fiore.

The 12 industries reporting growth in order backlogs in January, in the following order, are: Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Wood Products; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products. In January, two industries reported lower backlogs: Textile Mills; and Furniture & Related Products.

Backlog of Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 91 32.1 55.2 12.7 +19.4 59.7
Dec 2020 90 31.4 55.4 13.2 +18.2 59.1
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

New Export Orders*

ISM®’s New Export Orders Index registered 54.9 percent in January, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points compared to the December reading of 57.5 percent. “The New Export Orders Index grew for the seventh consecutive month, but at a slower rate. Five (Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products) of the six big industry sectors expanded. New export orders were again a positive factor to the growth in new-order levels, with many panelists suggesting U.S. dollar strength was a contributor to export orders,” says Fiore.

The 10 industries reporting growth in new export orders in January — in the following order — are: Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The only industry reporting a decrease in new export orders is Paper Products. Seven industries reported no change in exports in January.

New Export Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 75 17.6 74.6 7.7 +9.9 54.9
Dec 2020 72 20.1 74.8 5.1 +15.0 57.5
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

Imports*

ISM®’s Imports Index registered 56.8 percent in January, an increase of 2.2 percentage points compared to the 54.6 percent reported for December. “Imports expanded for the seventh consecutive month, at stronger rates compared to December, reflecting continued increases in U.S. factory demand and interest in increasing on-shore inventory. Panelists continued to note record-breaking backlogs in ports of entry, as well as difficulty in arranging drayage and operating within the domestic transportation market,” says Fiore.

The 11 industries reporting growth in imports in January — in the following order — are: Wood Products; Primary Metals; Textile Mills; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. Two industries reported a decrease in imports in January: Printing & Related Support Activities; and Paper Products.

Imports % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
Jan 2021 84 21.9 69.9 8.3 +13.6 56.8
Dec 2020 85 19.2 70.8 10.0 +9.2 54.6
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
*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 increased in January by nine days to 141 days. Average lead time for Production Materials decreased in January by one day to 68 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies increased in January by two days to 39 days.

Percent Reporting

Capital Expenditures Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
Jan 2021 21 6 10 15 30 18 141
Dec 2020 24 5 10 17 28 16 132
Nov 2020 22 6 10 16 27 19 140
Oct 2020 23 5 8 17 29 18 140

Percent Reporting

Production Materials Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
Jan 2021 9 35 26 20 7 3 68
Dec 2020 9 33 27 21 7 3 69
Nov 2020 10 35 24 22 6 3 67
Oct 2020 10 38 25 19 6 2 62

Percent Reporting

MRO Supplies Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
Jan 2021 31 36 19 11 3 0 39
Dec 2020 32 37 17 12 2 0 37
Nov 2020 34 36 16 10 3 1 40
Oct 2020 34 39 17 8 2 0 34

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 January 2021.

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 subsectors 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.

ISM ROB Content


The Institute for Supply Management® (“ISM”) Report On Business® (both Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing) (“ISM ROB”) contains information, text, files, images, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, and any other materials or content (collectively, "Content") of ISM ("ISM ROB Content"). ISM ROB Content is protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret, and other laws, and as between you and ISM, ISM owns and retains all rights in the ISM ROB Content. ISM hereby grants you a limited, revocable, nonsublicensable license to access and display on your individual device the ISM ROB Content (excluding any software code) solely for your personal, non-commercial use. The ISM ROB Content shall also contain Content of users and other ISM licensors. Except as provided herein or as explicitly allowed in writing by ISM, you shall not copy, download, stream, capture, reproduce, duplicate, archive, upload, modify, translate, publish, broadcast, transmit, retransmit, distribute, perform, display, sell, or otherwise use any ISM ROB Content.

Except as explicitly and expressly permitted by ISM, you are strictly prohibited from creating works or materials (including but not limited to tables, charts, data streams, time series variables, fonts, icons, link buttons, wallpaper, desktop themes, online postcards, montages, mashups and similar videos, greeting cards, and unlicensed merchandise) that derive from or are based on the ISM ROB Content. This prohibition applies regardless of whether the derivative works or materials are sold, bartered, or given away. You shall not either directly or through the use of any device, software, internet site, web-based service, or other means remove, alter, bypass, avoid, interfere with, or circumvent any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices marked on the Content or any digital rights management mechanism, device, or other content protection or access control measure associated with the Content including geo-filtering mechanisms. Without prior written authorization from ISM, you shall not build a business utilizing the Content, whether or not for profit.

You shall not create, recreate, distribute, incorporate in other work, or advertise an index of any portion of the Content unless you receive prior written authorization from ISM. Requests for permission to reproduce or distribute ISM ROB Content can be made by contacting in writing at: ISM Research, Institute for Supply Management, 309 West Elliot Road, Suite 113, Tempe, Arizona 85284-1556, or by emailing kcahill@ismworld.org. Subject: Content Request.

ISM shall not have any liability, duty, or obligation for or relating to the ISM ROB Content or other information contained herein, any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or delays in providing any ISM ROB Content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. In no event shall ISM be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages, arising out of the use of the ISM ROB. Report On Business®, PMI®, and NMI® are registered trademarks of Institute for Supply Management®. Institute for Supply Management® and ISM® are registered trademarks of Institute for Supply Management, Inc.

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 February 2021 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Monday, March 1, 2021.

*Unless the New York Stock Exchange is closed.

Join the Survey Panel

ISM®'s Manufacturing, Services, and Hospital Report On Business® gather data monthly through surveys of supply management professionals participating in the Business Survey Committee. The make-up of this committee is determined by industry category and is based on each industry's contribution to Gross Domestic Product.

Learn More

Please note that you or the organization you represent may not create, recreate, distribute, incorporate in other work, or advertise an index or any portion of the ISM® Report On Business® – Manufacturing (PMI®), Services (PMI®) and Hospital (PMI) content unless you receive prior written authorization from ISM. Requests for permission to reproduce or distribute ISM ROB Content can be made by contacting us in writing at:

ISM Research
Institute for Supply Management

309 W. Elliot Road ,
Suite 113
Tempe, AZ 85284

or by emailing us at (Subject: Content Request)
robadmin@ismworld.org