The state’s purchasing managers’ index dropped from 54.4 to 53.8, but that’s still above the 50 point threshold that generally indicates an expanding economy. It’s also more bullish than the national index which fell below that threshold to 49, the first contraction since November 2012.
“There are economic cross-currents creating uncertainty from weaker fiscal spending policies and weaker exports that are flowing against a stronger housing market, leaving many manufacturers unsure of future overall economic and individual market growth,” said Don Sabbarese, director of the center.
The Peach State index was tugged downward by a slight decrease in factory production but more so by a strong decline in inventories of finished goods. However, Sabbarese notes that finished inventories can drop before a period of expansion.
For example, the employment component of the state index rose 0.2 points to 54.2, suggesting that factory managers expect their sales to rise.
The state and national indexes are compiled by surveying purchasing managers about the activity in their plants, such as new orders from customers, employment and delivery times for supplies.