Originally created 07/04/06

Georgia manufacturers show optimism



ATLANTA - Factories are in high gear now, and their executives expect the economy to continue zooming ahead during the next six months, according to a survey released Monday that shows the state's manufacturers are more optimistic than those in the rest of the country.

The Georgia Purchasing Managers Index stands at 59 points for June, and the national index reads 54. It is compiled from surveys of executives who order materials for their plants.

The results usually provide an early indication of what the owners are thinking about near-term production plans.

Typically a reading above 45 is bullish for manufacturing, and readings higher than 50 indicate expansion in the overall economy.

One reason the Georgia index has been higher than the national is a higher level of hiring reported by plants within in the state, according to the report's author, Don Sabbarese, the director of Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University.

"Georgia's PMI reading of 59.3 is still consistent with solid growth for the manufacturing sector," he said. "Georgia's readings continue to suggest that Georgia's manufacturing sector is experiencing more consistent strength than on the national level."

Another measure released Monday also reflected strength in the nation's economy. The Credit Manager's Index rebounded sharply in the month of June, after a significant drop in May.

The improvement indicates customers have more money to spend, according to economist Dan North of the National Association of Credit Management in Columbia, Md.

"This data suggests that while the economy is still growing, the rate of that growth is declining," Mr. North said.

Reach Walter Jones at (404) 589-8424 or walter.jones@morris.com.