The latest numbers signal the strongest overall improvement in business conditions since the survey began in October 2010Click image to enlargeCanadian manufacturers registered a record improvement in business conditions during December, according to the latest IHS Markit Purchasing Managers Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted IHS PMI registered 57.9 in December, up from 55.8 in November, signalling the strongest overall improvement in business conditions since the survey began in October 2010.

The report says expansions in new orders and output underpinned the growth and that a sustained increase in manufacturing workloads reduced capacity and spurred another round of job creation.

There were also widespread reports that supply chain pressures mounted in December, which were often linked to the restrictions imposed to curb the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Canadian manufacturers remained optimistic that their output levels in 2021 will improve. On the price front, material shortages and higher transportation costs added to inflationary pressures. Both input and output price inflation hit 26-month highs in December.

The headline index has now posted above the 50.0 neutral value in each month since July. Production volumes increased at a marked pace in December, extending the current run of growth to six consecutive months. The latest expansion, the strongest since August 2018, is attributed to a substantial increase in order books, with new order growth the strongest in three months.

The rise in new work from abroad was the greatest since August 2018, driven by rising demand from clients in the U.S. and Asia.

Rising workloads and long-term expansion plans contributed to another round of job creation, which was the strongest in two years.

However, capacity pressures continued to emerge with the rate of incomplete work rising. Manufacturing firms continued to boost their purchasing activity to boost their input of raw materials and supplies. However, port congestion and difficulty obtaining materials were reflected in another marked decline in vendor performance. Subsequently, firms built up stock of inputs amid expectations of price hikes and lengthy delivery times in the months ahead.

Higher raw material and transportation costs increased input prices, the steepest since October 2018. Sharp rises in operating expenses and resilient demand conditions led to the fastest increase in selling prices for over two years. Finally, sentiment improved to the strongest since September. Canadian manufacturers remained optimistic that their output volumes in 2021 will improve.

Hopes of greater demand, business expansions and promising vaccine developments underpinned these expectations.

Sharpest rise in manufacturing production since February: IHS Markit PMI

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FABTECH 2013

North America's premier event for metal fabricating, forming and welding takes place in Chicago, IL November 18-21

North America's largest event for the metal fabricating and forming industry takes place November 18 to 21 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.

The annual event attracts fabricators from across North America. This year, event organizers are expecting more than 35,000 attendees to visit the 1,500 exhibitors already registered for the event.

This year's events includes an expanded education program with more than 100 sessions, including 64 new courses that have not been offered at previous FABTECH events. New sessions include presentations on trends and advances in laser technology and new workshops about lean manufacturing, workforce development and press brake operation skills.

Special events include a welding competition, new product presentations, a reception for women in manufacturing and a "cocktails and comedy" event on Wednesday, November 20.

For event details and for registration, visit FABTECH online at www.fabtechexpo.com.

SHOW HOURS

Monday, November 18, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm 
Tuesday, November 19, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Wednesday, November 20, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Thursday, November 21, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

  •  State of the Industry: Executive Outlook

Open to all attendees, the event takes place Tuesday, November 19, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse.

  • ·      Solutions for a Qualified Workforce Pipline

Open to all attendees, panel discussion takes place Wednesday, November 20 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse.

  • ·      Robotic Arc Welding Contents

Robotic welding technicians compete on Tuesday, November 19 and Wednesday, November 20 in the North Hall, Booth N2099.

  • ·      Cocktails and Comedy

Doors open at 5:00 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse, on Wednesday, November 20.

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS: EDITOR'S PICKS

·      Precision Punch & Cutting Technology 8:00 am - 10:00 am Monday, November 18

·      Automation Solutions for Press Brakes with Tech Tour 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Monday, November 18

·      Welding Disimilar Metals conference 8:15 am - 2:30 pm, Monday, November 18

·      Introduction to Laser Cutting Best Practices 8:00 am - 10:00 am, Tuesday, November 19

·      New Developments in Waterjet Cutting 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, Tuesday, November 19

·      Inspecting and Troubleshooting Welded Tube 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Tuesday, November 19

·      Innovations in Plasma Cutting 8:00 am - 10:00 am Wednesday, November 20

·      Game Changing Technology to Increase Productivity 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm Wednesday, November 20

·      High Energy Density Welding Processes 8:00 am - 11:00 am Wednesday, November 20

Check event details online at www.fabtechexpo.com/learn#.

 

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