12 October 2006 17:07 [Source: ICIS news]
The alliance, whose 450 member firms include chemical producers, said its third-quarter composite index of manufacturing activity slipped to 64, down from the 71 index figure reported for the second quarter this year, the lowest level since the index of 60 was reported for the second-quarter 2003.
The third-quarter index still indicates growth in the
The composite index is made up of ten individual indexes that measure such manufacturing bellwethers as capacity utilisation, orders, exports, inventories, backlogs and spending on capital improvements and research and development (R&D).
“Although the composite index and several individual indexes point to slower growth, several indexes, notably exports and capacity utilisation, rose,” said alliance chief economist Daniel Meckstroth.
“Further, all of the indexes remain well above the 50% level, indicating that the overall manufacturing sector will continue expanding over the next three to six months,” Meckstroth said.
The third-quarter cooling in the manufacturing growth rate comes after what the alliance termed an “impressive three-year growth acceleration in the industrial sector.” The next six months, said the alliance, represent not a decline but rather a speed bump on the road of manufacturing expansion.
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