Manufacturing by the Numbers: March 2024

Manufacturing by the Numbers: March 2024

March 29, 2024
Plus, manufacturing sector contracts for the 16th consecutive month.

The old adage ‘you can't manage what you can't measure’ has never been truer, especially in the industrial sector. Having the right data about your plant, your business, and the industry in general is essential if you want your company to thrive.

This monthly roundup highlights the reports, studies, surveys, and insights that are impacting the manufacturing industry. Here are this month’s stats.


Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in February for the 16th consecutive month

"The Manufacturing PMI registered 47.8% in February, down 1.3 percentage points from the 49.1% recorded in January. The overall economy continued in expansion for the 46th month after one month of contraction in April 2020."

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New orders for manufactured goods in January decreased $21.5 billion or 3.6% to $569.7 billion

"This followed a 0.3% December decrease. Shipments, down four of the last five months, decreased $5.7 billion or 1.0% to $572.3 billion. This followed a 0.5% December decrease. Unfilled orders, up thirteen of the last fourteen months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.2% to $1,395.1 billion."

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Manufacturing activity fell significantly in New York State in March, with a decline in new orders pointing to softening demand

"The new orders index fell eleven points to -17.2, and the shipments index moved down ten points to -6.9, pointing to a decline in orders and shipments. The unfilled orders index held steady at -10.9, a sign that unfilled orders continued to fall."

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Orders of manufacturing technology totaled $338 million in January 2024, a 31% decline from December

"The value of orders in January 2024 were at the lowest level for a January since 2021, yet the unit count was the lowest since 2016. This indicates the demand for manufacturing technology is still being driven by orders of highly specialized, automated machinery."

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Industrial production edged up 0.1% in February after declining 0.5% in January

"In February, the output of manufacturing rose 0.8% and the index for mining climbed 2.2%. Both gains partly reflected recoveries from weather-related declines in January."

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New orders for manufactured durable goods in February increased $3.7 billion or 1.4% to $277.9 billion

"Shipments of manufactured durable goods in February, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $3.5 billion or 1.2% to $282.7 billion. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in February, up eleven of the last twelve months, increased $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $1,392.9 billion."

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Texas factory activity weakened in March, with the production index falling five points to -4.1

"The new orders index—a key measure of demand—dropped 17 points to -11.8 after briefly turning positive last month. The capacity utilization index edged down five points to -5.7, and the shipments index plunged from 0.1 to -15.4."

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In January 2024, U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $204.5 million, up 9.1% from December

"January cutting tool shipments are a good start to 2024 and indicate that the expected decline will not be as severe as some fourth-quarter predictions that were based on the contraction in durable goods spending."

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About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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