CompositesWorld

SEP 2018

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SEPTEMBER 2018 14 CompositesWorld GARDNER BUSINESS INDEX: COMPOSITES FABRICATING July 2018 – 56.6 » e GBI: Composites Fabricating Index registered 56.6 in July, indicating that the compos- ites industry is experiencing modestly slower growth as compared to the first quarter of 2018. July's result, however, is not only higher than the average growth rate experienced during the whole of 2017, but is also 7.5% higher than during the same month one year earlier. e Gardner Intelligence team's review of the underlying data for the month indicates that the Index was pulled higher by Production, Supplier Deliveries and Backlogs. e Index — an averages-based calculation — was pulled lower by Employment, New Orders and Exports. For a second month in a row, composites fabricators reported a contraction in export levels. Converting each of the six Index subcomponents into three-month moving averages illus- trates one commonality across all of the indicators, which is that growth appears to be decel- erating as we move into the third quarter of 2018. is slowdown contrasts with the fast expan- sion measured by each of the metrics during the early months of 2018. However, some results require analysis within a larger context. Gardner Intelligence believes this is certainly the case with the Employment sub-index. As recorded in July, this component of the Composites Fabri- cating Index could have moved lower not because demand by fabricators for labor was slowing, but because of the significant shortage of available labor. Fabricators were not able to hire the number of people they would have desired, and this lack of available new hires may have resulted in the lower Employment readings. Composites Index trending lower but still in growth mode Michael Guckes is the chief economist for Gardner Intelligence, a division of Gardner Business Media (Cincinnati, OH US). He has performed economic analysis, modeling and forecasting work for nearly 20 years in a wide range of industries. Guckes received his BA in political science and economics from Kenyon College and his MBA from Ohio State University. mguckes@gardnerweb.com ABOUT THE AUTHOR New Orders and Production Growth readings trend lower After establishing new highs in the first quarter of 2018, recent readings of Production and New Orders indicated slowing expansion. Concurrently, the monthly readings for Supplier Deliveries have been moving higher since the early second quarter of 2018 through the month of July. Stay ahead of the curve with Gardner Intelligence. Visit the blog at gardnerintelligence.com or e-mail mguckes@gardnerweb.com PRESENTED BY GBI: Composites Fabricating GBI: Composites Fabricating — New Orders and Production (3-month moving average) New Orders Production The Composites Fabricating Index moved slightly higher in July Supplier Deliveries and a surprisingly expansionary Production reading sustained the Index's strong performance during the month.

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