October 4, 2021 – Despite supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages and effects from the recent Hurricane Ida, US manufacturing, new export orders and imports showed resilience with strong growth numbers. According to the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report on Business, US manufacturing grew faster with a 61.1 reading, up from 59.9 in August, for the 15th consecutive month of growth. New export orders grew more slowly, notching a 53.4 reading compared to August’s 56.6. Any number of 50 or greater indicates growth. US manufacturers have found their away around many of these prolonged challenges, but we can’t help wondering how long business confidence will sustain itself with little supply chain and shipping cost relief on the horizon.
Imports grew faster in September at 54.9 versus the August reading of 54.3. Both exports and imports grew for the 16th consecutive month. Within the 9-state Heartland region, regional export numbers displayed continued growth for the month. The new export orders index grew more slowly to a solid 59.5 from August’s 64.7. “Supply bottlenecks pushed the September import reading to a lower 37.0 from 52.4 in August,” said Creighton University’s Ernie Goss, PhD. The 9-state region encompasses Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North & South Dakota.