The Precision Machining Index for the US kicked off 2024 with a mixed bag of indicators that delivered an index reading very similar the way the year closed in 2023. PHOTO courtesy Hexagon.
The Gardner Business Index for Precision Machining in the US started off 2024 with a flat performance, closing January with an index of 45.9, almost exactly the same as December’s 45.8.
It was a mixed bag of indicators in January. Although all of them contracted, dome contracted slower than others with the overall impact being an index very similar to the way the year closed in 2023. Specifically:
- New orders departed from backlog and slowed contraction in January, the second month in a row.
- Production coincided with new orders in January, also slowing contraction.
- Backlog accelerated contraction, failing to sustain the slight slowing observed in December and landing on par with November.
- Employment and exports behaved most like backlog as far as minimally accelerated contraction in January.
- Supplier deliveries moved from flat to slightly faster lengthening, in a positive sign for future business.
- Business sentiment, not part of the GBI calculation, has been on a several month uptick that continued into January, notes Gardner, adding that it is the highest it has been since May of 2022.