Global Supply Chain May Be “Stuck in Mud” Too

Growth is so sluggish that surveys cannot tell the difference between token gains and flat, say economists.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
July 02, 2013 - SCMR Editorial

While supply chain managers may note that the ISM purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has bounced back over 50 to 50.9 in June from 49.0 in May, some economists maintain that such surveys may not mean much.

“The ISM report says that manufacturing is essentially stalled,” said Michael Montgomery, U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. “The Markit Economics version (constructed in a very similar fashion) says that there is modest growth.”

Markit Economics is an independent, global provider of some of the world’s most influential business surveys.

“From our perspective, taking all the data, that means growth is so sluggish that surveys cannot tell the difference between token gains and flat,” added Montgomery.

The manufacturing sector turned mildly negative in May, then mildly positive in June. The two-month average is virtually neutral and the three-month average a token plus — all 12-month averages are very close to June readings.

According to IHS, that means that the manufacturing operating environment is almost identical to what it has been for most of the last year, with no signs of improvement or deterioration.

Similar conditions of near stagnation exist overseas, with Europe on the underwater side of neutral but clawing back toward neutral, China just under neutral, and only Japan showing any signs of a recovery that is gaining momentum. Worldwide manufacturing is stuck in the mud.

“The manufacturing sector is recording such modest growth that surveys cannot tell the difference from stagnation,” said Montgomery.



About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(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

Of special interest to readers of Logistics Management will be “Americas Update,” which will look into the future of the market in the Americas and assess how firms will be able to favorably position themselves to compete and win market share.

After 20 years, two congressional mandates and countless lawsuits and lobbying efforts, safety advocates and the Teamsters union still say there are too many inexperienced rookie truck drivers hitting the road without sufficient behind-the-wheel training.

Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.

Southern California shippers are getting a break on container dwell expenses for the next ten days as the Port of Long Beach announced that it had added an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge.

The long-simmering court battle over whether FedEx Ground’s workers are independent contractors or employees appears headed to the appellate courts—and maybe the U.S. Supreme Court.

Article Topics

News · Global · Supply Chain · Purchasing · Manufacturing · ISM · All topics

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. Contact Patrick Burnson

Comments

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