The Composites Fabricating Index closes 2017 on an up note
The December Composites Index was at 55.8%
Registering 55.8 in December, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Composites Fabricating ended the month above its 2017 average of 55.1. The fourth quarter’s readings were the year’s highest and were well above the readings recorded during the same quarter a year earlier. Compared to December 2016, the Index this past December had increased approximately 8%. The Gardner Intelligence review of the underlying data for the month indicates that New Orders, Production and Employment lifted the Business Index higher while Exports, Supplier Deliveries and Backlogs held it back. However, only the reading for Backlogs indicated actual contraction (registering less than 50.0) during the month.
Throughout most of the year, Production and New orders were the major drivers of overall Index performance. During two of the three months in the fourth quarter, the readings for New Orders exceeded those for Production. Past examination of Gardner data suggests that when New Orders growth exceeds Production, manufacturers can expect continued industry growth. In addition, such instances typically result in a near immediate improvement in Backlogs, Exports or both. This has been proven out by both the sharp expansion in the Backlogs reading in November and the Exports reading in December.