Manufacturing PMI® at 59.3%

October 2020 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

New Orders; Production and 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 October, with the overall economy notching a sixth 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 October Manufacturing PMI® registered 59.3 percent, up 3.9 percentage points from the September reading of 55.4 percent and the highest since September 2018 (59.3 percent). This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the sixth month in a row after a contraction in April, which ended a period of 131 consecutive months of growth. The New Orders Index registered 67.9 percent, an increase of 7.7 percentage points from the September reading of 60.2 percent. The Production Index registered 63 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points compared to the September reading of 61 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 55.7 percent, 0.5 percentage point higher compared to the September reading of 55.2 percent. The Employment Index registered 53.2 percent, an increase of 3.6 percentage points from the September reading of 49.6 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 60.5 percent, up 1.5 percentage points from the September figure of 59 percent. The Inventories Index registered 51.9 percent; 4.8 percentage points higher than the September reading of 47.1 percent. The Prices Index registered 65.5 percent, up 2.7 percentage points compared to the September reading of 62.8 percent. The New Export Orders Index registered 55.7 percent; an increase of 1.4 percentage points compared to the September reading of 54.3 percent. The Imports Index registered 58.1 percent, a 4.1-percentage point increase from the September reading of 54 percent.

“The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in October. Survey Committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in reconfigured factories; with every month, they are becoming more proficient at expanding output. Panel sentiment was optimistic (two positive comments for every cautious comment), a slight decrease compared to September. Demand expanded, with the (1) New Orders Index growing at strong levels, supported by the New Export Orders Index expanding moderately, (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 prior three months. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) contributed positively (a combined 5.6-percentage point increase) to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation, with five of the top six industries continuing to expand output strongly. The Employment Index broke into expansion territory for the first time since July 2019. Inputs — expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to indicate input-driven constraints to production expansion, but at slower rates compared to September, due to a return to growth in inventory levels. Inputs improved compared to September and contributed positively to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation, with a combined 6.3-percentage point increase. (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 continued shift to seller pricing power.

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

“Manufacturing performed well for the third straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering growth indicative of a normal expansion cycle. While certain industry sectors are experiencing difficulties that will continue in the near term, the overall manufacturing community continues to exceed expectations,” says Fiore.

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

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • “COVID-19 continues to have an effect on supplier support and operations, more from a decreased labor perspective rather than unavailable material.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “Business continues to be robust. Sales are greater than expectations, and cost pressures are modest. There is posturing by suppliers on market price increases for corrugated and polypropylene, yet no firm price increases at this time. We expect a strong finish to 2020 and a solid start in 2021.” (Chemical Products)
  • “Sales continue to be strong — up 4 percent this September compared to September 2019. The year-to-date level is still 21 percent below last year due to the [COVID-19] shutdown, but sales are stronger than expected and forecast to stay strong through the first quarter of 2021.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “Increased production due to stores stocking up for the second wave of COVID-19.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • “Continue to see increases in customer demand. We still are not back to pre-COVID-19 levels but are continually improving.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “Construction materials have leveled off but continue to be at an all-time high. Mills for board sheet stock have pushed out lead times citing increasing backlogs related to the pandemic and increased supply in the housing market.” (Furniture & Related Products)
  • “Business is almost back to normal levels; however, customers are still cautious with capital spending.” (Machinery)
  • “Business levels have just about returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. Our company is remaining conservative with fixed-cost spending, knowing the uncertainties that lie ahead with COVID-19 and its potential impact globally.” (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • “October order books are the strongest we have seen in the past six months.” (Paper Products)
  • “We continue to see stronger month-over-month orders in plastic injection molding.” (Plastics & Rubber Products)

Manufacturing at a Glance
October 2020

Index Series Index Oct Series Index Sep Percentage Point Change Direction Rate of Change Trend* (Months)
Manufacturing PMI® 59.3 55.4 +3.9 Growing Faster 5
New Orders 67.9 60.2 +7.7 Growing Faster 5
Production 63.0 61.0 +2.0 Growing Faster 5
Employment 53.2 49.6 +3.6 Growing From Contracting 1
Supplier Deliveries 60.5 59.0 +1.5 Slowing Faster 12
Inventories 51.9 47.1 +4.8 Growing From Contracting 1
Customers’ Inventories 36.7 37.9 -1.2 Too Low Faster 49
Prices 65.5 62.8 +2.7 Increasing Faster 5
Backlog of Orders 55.7 55.2 +0.5 Growing Faster 4
New Export Orders 55.7 54.3 +1.4 Growing Faster 4
Imports 58.1 54.0 +4.1 Growing Faster 4
OVERALL ECONOMY Growing Faster 6
Manufacturing Sector Growing Faster 5
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


Aluminum (5); Aluminum Products; Base Oils; Copper (5); Corn; Corrugate; Ethylene; Freight (3); High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Products (4); Lumber (4); Plastic Products; Plastic Resins (2); Polyethylene Film; Polyethylene Resins; Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottles; Polypropylene (4); Polyvinyl Chloride; Precious Metals (4); Propylene; Soybean Products; Steel (3); Steel — Cold Rolled (2); Steel — Galvanized; Steel — Hot Rolled (2); Steel Products (2); and Wood Pallets.


Commodities Down in Price


Caustic Soda.


Commodities in Short Supply


Aluminum Products; Capacitors (2); Electrical Components; Labor — Temporary; Lumber; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — Gloves (8); Freight; Polyvinyl Chloride; Resistors (2); and Steel Products.

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

 


OCTOBER 2020 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


Manufacturing PMI®

Manufacturing grew in October, as the Manufacturing PMI® registered 59.3 percent, 3.9 percentage points higher than the September reading of 55.4 percent. The month-over-month gain of 3.9 percentage points is the second-biggest positive change in the Manufacturing PMI® since May 2009, when it increased by 4.2 percentage points. (There was a 9.5-percentage point increase in June 2020, as activity picked up significantly after coronavirus-induced shutdowns.) “The Manufacturing PMI® signaled a continued rebuilding of economic activity in October, with all five contributing subindexes in moderate to strong growth territory. Five (Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Transportation Equipment) 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. All 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 October Manufacturing PMI® indicates the overall economy grew in October for the sixth consecutive month following contraction in April. “The past relationship between the Manufacturing PMI® and the overall economy indicates that the Manufacturing PMI® for October (59.3 percent) corresponds to a 4.8-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis,” says Fiore.

THE LAST 12 MONTHS


Month
Manufacturing PMI®
Oct 20 59.3
Sep 20 55.4
Aug 20 56.0
Jul 20 54.2
Jun 20 52.6
May 20 43.1
Month
PMI®
Apr 20 41.5
Mar 20 49.1
Feb 20 50.1
Jan 20 50.9
Dec 19 47.8
Nov 19 48.1
50.7
59.3
41.5

New Orders

ISM®’s New Orders Index registered 67.9 percent in October, an increase of 7.7 percentage points compared to the 60.2 percent reported in September. This indicates that new orders grew for the fifth consecutive month. The reading of 67.9 percent is the highest reading since January 2004 (70.6 percent). Except for June 2020, the month-over-month change of 7.7 percentage points is the greatest positive movement since March 2009 (8.6 percentage points). “All of the top six industry sectors (Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Transportation Equipment) 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 16 that reported growth in new orders in October — in the following order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Furniture & Related Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Chemical Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The only industry reporting a decline in new orders in October is Textile Mills.

New Orders % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 41.1 40.0 18.8 +22.3 61.5

Production

The Production Index registered 63 percent in October, 2 percentage points higher than the September reading of 61 percent, indicating growth for the fifth consecutive month and the fourth consecutive month above 60 percent. “Five (Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; and Computer & Electronic Products) of the top six industries expanded 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 11 industries reporting growth in production during the month of October — listed in order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Computer & Electronic Products. The only industry reporting decreased production in October is Textile Mills. Six industries reported no change in production levels in October.

Production % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 41.6 39.9 18.5 +23.1 62.1

Employment

ISM®’s Employment Index registered 53.2 percent in October, 3.6 percentage points higher than the September reading of 49.6 percent. “Following 14 consecutive months of contraction, the Employment Index moved back into expansion territory. This marks the sixth consecutive month of improvement since the index’s low of 27.5 percent registered in April. Of the six big industry sectors, five (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products) expanded. Continued strong new-order levels and an expanding backlog signify potential employment strength for the balance of the fourth quarter. For the second 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 50.8 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 11 industries to report employment growth in October — in the following order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products. The five industries reporting a decrease in employment in October are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Petroleum & Coal Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Employment % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 15.3 59.9 24.7 -9.4 44.3

Supplier Deliveries*

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was slower in October, as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 60.5 percent. This is 1.5 percentage points higher than the 59 percent reported in September. “Suppliers continue to struggle to deliver, with deliveries slowing at a faster rate compared to September. Transportation challenges and continuing challenges in supplier labor markets are still constraining production growth. The Supplier Deliveries Index reflects the difficulties suppliers continue to experience due to COVID-19 impacts amid expanding new orders and production. Supplier constraints are not expected to diminish soon and represent a continuing hurdle to production output and inventories growth,” says Fiore. A reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries, while a reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

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

Supplier Deliveries % Slower % Same % Faster Net Index
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
Jul 2020 22.2 67.4 10.5 +11.7 55.8

Inventories

The Inventories Index registered 51.9 percent in October, 4.8 percentage points higher than the 47.1 percent reported for September. Inventories grew after three straight months of contraction. “Inventory growth in light of ongoing supplier constraints indicate that the supply chain is beginning to improve its performance in meeting production demand,” 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 six industries reporting higher inventories in October — in the following order — are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Furniture & Related Products; Paper Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Chemical Products. The six industries reporting a decrease in inventories in October — listed in order — are: Wood Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. Six industries reported no change in inventories in October.

Inventories % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 21.2 51.6 27.2 -6.0 47.0

Customers' Inventories*

ISM®’s Customers’ Inventories Index registered 36.7 percent in October, 1.2 percentage points lower than the 37.9 percent reported for September, indicating that customers’ inventory levels were considered too low. “Customers’ inventories are too low for the 49th consecutive month and moved further into ‘too low’ territory in October, a positive for future production growth. For a third straight month, 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 October is Printing & Related Support Activities. The 15 industries reporting customers’ inventories as too low during October — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Paper Products; Wood Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

Customers' Inventories % Reporting % Too High % About Right % Too Low Net Index
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
Jul 2020 74 12.6 58.0 29.4 -16.8 41.6

Prices*

The ISM® Prices Index registered 65.5 percent, an increase of 2.7 percentage points compared the September reading of 62.8 percent, indicating raw materials prices increased for the fifth consecutive month. “The Prices index achieved its highest level of expansion since October 2018, when the index registered 71.6 percent. Aluminum, copper, steel, transportation costs, corrugate, food products and plastics all recorded 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 15 industries reporting paying increased prices for raw materials in October — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Paper Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; Chemical Products; Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. No industries reported decreased prices in October.

Prices % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 22.7 61.2 16.2 +6.5 53.2

Backlog of Orders*

ISM®’s Backlog of Orders Index registered 55.7 percent in October, a 0.5-percentage point increase compared to the 55.2 percent reported in September, indicating order backlogs expanded for the fourth consecutive month after four straight months of contraction. “Backlogs expanded at slightly faster rates in October, indicating that new-order intakes were sufficient to fully offset production outputs and maintain an acceptable level of backlog. Four (Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Chemical Products) of the six big industry sectors’ backlogs expanded. The index achieved its highest reading since November 2018 (56.4 percent),” says Fiore.

The 10 industries reporting growth in order backlogs in October, in the following order, are: Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Furniture & Related Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; and Chemical Products. In October, five industries reported lower backlogs: Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Primary Metals.

Backlog of Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 87 20.3 63.0 16.7 +3.6 51.8

New Export Orders*

ISM®’s New Export Orders Index registered 55.7 percent in October, up 1.4 percentage points compared to the September reading of 54.3 percent. “The New Export Orders Index grew for the fourth consecutive month at a faster rate and reached its highest level since September 2018 (56 percent). With four of the six big industry sectors expanding (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; and Chemical Products), new export orders were a positive factor to the growth in new orders,” says Fiore.

The 11 industries reporting growth in new export orders in October — in the following order — are: Wood Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; and Chemical Products. No industries reported a decrease in new export orders in October. Six industries reported no change in new export orders in October.

New Export Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 74 14.8 71.4 13.9 +0.9 50.4

Imports*

ISM®’s Imports Index registered 58.1 percent in October, up 4.1 percentage points compared to the 54 percent reported for September. “Imports expanded for the fourth consecutive month and at a faster rate, reflecting continued increases in U.S. factory demand. This is the index’s highest level in more than two years (a reading of 59 percent in June 2018),” says Fiore.

The 12 industries reporting growth in imports in October — in the following order — are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. No industries reported decreases in imports in October. Six industries reported no change in imports in October.

Imports % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
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
Jul 2020 85 17.4 71.4 11.2 +6.2 53.1
*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 October by five days to 140 days. Average lead time for Production Materials decreased in October by two days to 62 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies decreased in October by one day to 34 days.

Percent Reporting

Capital Expenditures Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
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
Jul 2020 24 7 8 18 24 19 136

Percent Reporting

Production Materials Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
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
Jul 2020 10 35 25 20 8 2 66

Percent Reporting

MRO Supplies Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
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
Jul 2020 38 35 16 8 3 0 35

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 October 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 November 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

*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.

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