Durable goods manufacturing contracted at a heightened rate in August, marking the fifth consecutive month of shrinkage, as reflected by the Gardner Business Index (GBI).
The GBI rating of 45.8 represented a 2.7 drop from July’s 48.5 reading, though both numbers, as do all readings under 50, signify contraction. Indices over 50 represent growth. While July’s figure represented a slower rate of contraction, August’s reading represents the fastest shrinkage rate since December 2012.
During the previous four months of contraction, companies with 50 or more employees had been performing better than smaller businesses. However, the August figures showed contraction in companies with 50 to 99 employees and those with more than 250. While shops with 100-250 employees did experience growth, small shops continued to contract at a faster pace.
Industry performance was likewise lackluster. Continuing a months-long trend, metal-cutting shops performed the poorest with a reading of 42.7. The machinery and equipment manufacturing and pumps, valves and plumbing products also performed poorly. Automotive; electronics, computers, and telecommunications; and custom processors all performed well.
For more information on the Gardner Business Index, please see here.