Michael A. Dunlap & Associates has reported results of its quarterly MADA / OFI Trends Survey, completed during the month of October 2011. This is the third quarter in a row that has seen improvement.
The October 2011 Overall Survey Index is 56.36, compared to 55.57 in July 2011 and 55.38 recorded in April 2011. “Although this represents a slight increase, it is very modest. The steady index indicates that the industry is still on solid ground and on a positive track.” Mike Dunlap commented.
In the October 2011 survey, gross shipments and order backlog increased significantly. The employment index dipped slightly, while hours worked improved. Capital expenditures and tooling expenditures also increased.
Dunlap stated further “Weaker gross sales and order backlog index values are of some concern to me, especially the backlog falling below 60 for the first time in the past three quarters. I am not worried about the very slight dip in the employment index because it is bolstered by the hours worked value. Both manufacturers and suppliers are hiring on all levels.
“I am excited to see the additional improvements in raw material cost and employee cost index values. Although still in the 40’s, they are much better than I had anticipated.
“The increases in capital expenditures, tooling expenditures, and new product development are encouraging, too. The decrease in personal outlook is not alarming, as it is still in positive territory."
Ironically, the majorities of the respondents cite increased energy costs, material costs, and increased health care costs as the “largest cost threats to the industry."
Dunlap continued, “I think these strong indicators, beginning with the April 2010 Index and followed by improvements during the past 18 months demonstrate that we are definitely on the correct track. This industry has come out of this recession more rapidly than was previously predicted, but I think it is led by the healthcare and education markets. The office market trails behind these two. I expect this to continue into 2012 and perhaps into 2013.”
For further information, contact: Mike Dunlap at 616-786-3524, e-mail: email@example.com, www.mdunlap-associates.com.
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