Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



ISM numbers speak for themselves

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 01, 2011

Earlier today, I reported on the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly Manufacturing Report on Business. In the interest of not repeating the story verbatim, I will tell you this: it was a very, very good report.

In fact, January marked the third highest monthly PMI—the index ISM uses to measure the manufacturing sector—in the last 20 years, with 1994 and 2004 being the highest.

ISM Chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee Norbert J. Ore told me that 1994 and 2004 were “rapid periods of price escalation in both instances.”

He also explained to me that 2010 never felt like a boom year like those of ’94 and ‘04, when things were what he termed as “out of control” in terms of the rate of growth.

What’s more, he said that we are coming off a very good year in which most people thought the second half of 2010 would see a slow down, when, in fact, it actually sped up. And based on one month of 2011 data in the books, there may be more of that to come for a while, which would appear to be good news for supply chains.

Things are far from normal for anyone at this point, regardless of whether you are a shipper or carrier. But there are some things occurring that have to make even the biggest cynic a tad hopeful.

Need another example? Look no further than today’s UPS fourth quarter and full-year 2010 earnings performance. Wow-they did very, very well. Most experts say that UPS (and FedEx’ for that matter) earnings performances are significant barometers of our economic health. If that is still the case, then our patient—the economy—really does appear to be getting better.

Throw in improving retail and industrial production numbers and steady truck and railroad volume numbers, and then we just might be on to something, right?

I know there is a long way to go and that the patient will remain in the sick ward until housing and unemployment improve to tolerable levels, but at this point we have to take what we can get and hope things continue to improve, regardless of the pace.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Satish Jindel, president of Pittsburgh-based SJ Consulting, says that one way for LTL carriers to improve both their bottom lines and overall productivity is to get a better grasp on the cost of handling a shipment and the pricing they have for it.

Falling 5.5 cents to $2.668 per gallon, this follows last week’s 5.9 cent decline for the lowest weekly average price going back to the week of October 14, 2009, when it was at $2.60 per gallon.

With the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Maui, Hawaii ending without a deal, U.S. supply managers may be adjusting to other global sourcing strategies.

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth fell 0.8 percent to 52.7 (a PMI of 50 or greater represents growth). PMI growth has been at 50 or higher for 31 straight months (with the overall economy growing for 74 months), and the current PMI is 1.7 percent below the 12-month average of 54.4.

The current status of FedEx’ planned acquisition of Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator for $4.8 billion, which was initially announced in April, remains in flux, with continued actions being taken by the European Commission.

Article Topics

Blogs · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA