Manufacturing Stalling in U.S. and Abroad24 Nov 2013, 6:00 pm
American manufacturers expanded production this month, but factory hiring continued to lag, according to recent surveys. Economies in Europe and China failed to fare much better as business activity and manufacturing there slowed. The data suggest the global recovery is limping along and the world's largest economies still face daunting challenges. Factory output in the U.S. rebounded this month, after sinking to a one-year low in October, according to the Markit "flash," or preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). "However, even this pace of expansion is barely generating any employment growth," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, in a press release on the PMI data. The U.S. economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter, surprising economists who expected some negative ripples from the 16-day government shutdown last month. The flash PMI for U.S. manufacturing rose to an eight-month high of 54.3 this month, a substantial increase from the one-year low of 51.8 in October. Expansion was indicated in new orders, new export orders, and backlogs of work. The PMI is based on monthly surveys of select companies. Readings above 50 on the index signal expansion; below 50 indicates a business contraction. "The resilience of the manufacturing economy in the face of headwinds such as the shutdown and fiscal wrangling will add to the call for policy to be tapered," Williamson stated, referring to Federal Reserve Board policy. However, the recent drop in inflation to its lowest since October 2009 suggests that the Fed will be in no rush to tighten policy, he maintained. The composite output index for Markit's 17-country eurozone declined from 51.9 in October to 51.5 last month. The composite PMI for Germany rose to its highest level since January, signaling a seventh consecutive month of growth. In contrast, the composite for France dropped to its lowest point since June. "Any improvements (in the euro zone) were largely confined to Germany," Williamson stated. "France, on the other hand, showed further signs of being the 'sick man of Europe' with output showing a renewed decline and raising the risk that GDP could fall again in the fourth quarter, constituting a renewed recession." The PMI for China dipped from October's final reading of 50.9 to the flash index of 50.4. "China's growth momentum softened a little in November," noted Hongbin Qu, a chief economist at HSBC bank, pointing to weak new export orders and a slowing pace of restocking activity. "That said, this is still the second-highest PMI reading in seven months."
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Southco Wins Design News Golden Mousetrap Best Product Award9 Sep 2010, 7:00 pm
On September 10, Design News announced Southco as a Golden Mousetrap Best Product Award winner for its ST-12C Counterbalanced Hinge in the category “Fastening, Joining & Assembly Components.”
Design News recognized the ST-12C as the only standard position control hinge to offer counterbalance capabilities. The counterbalance design requires less effort to move heavier objects as compared to friction-only hinges. As a result, it's easier for equipment operators to lift and position hinged components.
For more than two decades, the Design News Awards Program has recognized engineering innovation and creativity in product design. This year, Golden Mousetrap awards were given in four major categories: Electronics, Motion Control/Automation, Hardware/Software, Materials/Fastening/Joining/Assembly, and 20 subcategories. After receiving a record number of entries, Design News selected 71 finalists and 23 winners.
Design News selected another Southco product, the R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latch, as a finalist in the category “Components, Hardware & Interconnect.”
Southco President and CEO Brian McNeill states, “The Southco team is thrilled to be recognized for its products in such a competitive arena.”
Editor-in-Chief Karen Field adds, "Design News congratulates the winners and finalists of the 2009 Golden Mousetrap Awards for the great work they've done to develop new and innovative products for design engineers. These products showcase the highly imaginative ways that today's engineers are ‘building a better mousetrap,’ and we thank them for their contributions."
Read more about the ST-12C Counterbalanced Hinge »
U.S. Manufacturing Grows for Seventh Month in a Row - March 1, 201028 Feb 2010, 6:00 pm
By Agence France-Presse.
The rebounding manufacturing sector grew for seventh consecutive month in February, but at a slower clip than expected, according to The Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
The ISM said its manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers' index, slowed to 56.5% in February, from 58.4% in January.
Any number above 50% indicates growth. The figure was slightly lower than the 58% expected by most market watchers.
New manufacturing orders slipped 6.4 percentage points compared with January.
"The severe winter weather along the East Coast and Toyota's production shutdowns undoubtedly had a negative impact on manufacturing production in February. According to the ISM report, the adverse events last month were offset by on-going improvement in economic activity and the inventory swing that occurs when firms have to slow their destocking, and eventually build stocks, due to continuing growth in orders," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.
"Relatively small fluctuations in the indexes are normal for the indicator since there is a clearly discernable growth trend in the data," he added.
For the third consecutive month there was an improvement in the employment outlook, it was up 2.8 percentage points for the month to 56.1%.
"Manufacturing is not known as being a sector that generates many jobs quickly in a recovery. The employment indicator may be signaling that job cuts were overdone broadly and the labor market will shortly starting improving," said Meckstroth.
ISM concurred on labor market improvement. "Manufacturers are seemingly willing to hire where they have orders to support higher employment," ISM said
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010
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