8/23/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Composites Index contracts on a surprise 5-point decline

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Steep contraction in both production and new orders pulled the Composites Fabricating Index to 47.4 for July 2019.


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

The Composites Index closed July at 47.4, ending a 31-month expansion that first started in late 2016. The duration of the expansion was the longest on record, dwarfing the last recorded expansion on record of 10 months set in 2014. The latest Index reading is 17.4% lower compared to the same month one year ago, and 10.6% lower from just the previous month. Index readings above 50 indicate expanding activity, while values below 50 indicate contracting activity. The further away a reading is from 50, the greater the change in activity. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data revealed that the Index experienced a steep contraction in both production and new orders. The Index — calculated as an average of its components — was pulled lower further by the ongoing weakness in exports. Contracting new orders and production data pressured backlog activity, which reported the lowest reading in July among all components.

Surprise declines in new orders and production activity have occurred in the past, and each time the Index was able to quickly recover. Since late 2011, there have only been two periods of sustained contraction, both of which lasted for approximately six months before the Index resumed expanding.

More information about the Composites Fabricating Index can be found at http://www.gardnerintelligence.com/.


  • The fiber

    The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.

  • Tooling

    Composite parts are formed in molds, also known as tools. Tools can be made from virtually any material. The material type, shape and complexity depend upon the part and length of production run. Here's a short summary of the issues involved in electing and making tools.

  • Composites: Materials and processes

    High strength at low weight remain the winning combination that propels composite materials into new arenas, but other properties are equally important. This article outlines the case for composites and introduces SourceBook's overview of the materials and processes used to make them.