Local manufacturers say business was good in November — just not as good as it was in October.
A new report, based on a survey of local purchasing managers, indicated that business keeps cooled a bit at the region’s factories after a red-hot October, with production, new orders and hiring still growing, although not as fast as they did in October.
“Production and employment growth continued to be strong in November, but slowdowns of new order growth and unchanging vendor delivery speeds suggest caution about future growth," said Randy Cragun, the Niagara University economist who compiles the monthly report on local manufacturing activity for the Institute of Supply Management – Buffalo.
The group’s business activity index fell to a three-month low of 62.1 after jumping to a 20-year high of 82.2 in October. The index, which can swing wildly from month to month, had reached its highest levels since the beginning of 2015 during both June and July before falling in August and rebounding in September and October.
An index above 50 indicates growth at local factories, while a reading below that is a sign of weakness. The local index has been above 50, indicating factory growth, for 15 straight months.
Much of the index’s rise was due to strong production growth, which has increased for 13 straight months. The flow of new orders and hiring at local factories grew for the 15th straight month.
The report also indicated that commodity prices rose at a faster pace during November, while inventories grew for the eighth straight month.