Composites Index finishes best quarter on record

March 2018 – 59.9

The GBI: Composites Fabricating index closed March by setting both a monthly and a quarterly record high of 59.9 and 59.3, respectively. Compared to the same month one year ago, the Index increased approximately 8.2%. A review of the underlying data for the month by the Gardner Intelligence team indicates that the New Orders, Production, Supplier Deliveries and Employment subindices lifted the Composites Fabricating Index — an averages-based calculation — higher, while Backlogs and Exports pulled the Index lower. With the exception of Exports, all other Index components showed expansion (readings of >50.0) in March.

Although Production and New Orders have been the predominant drivers of the Composites Index over the past 18 months, readings of Employment and Supplier Deliveries both experienced strong growth in March, pushing the overall Index into record territory. The growth in Backlogs, despite fabricators’ efforts to increase Production and, more recently, Supplier Deliveries, suggests that 2018 is likely to be one of the best years since the Index was first recorded in 2011.    

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