Metalworking Business Index Up for 4 Straight Months, but Caution Remains

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The November Metalworking Business Index (MBI) rose for the fourth straight month, to a level of 59.3, sustaining the highest levels the MBI has shown since September '07.

11/09 Metalworking Business Index

The MBI is conducted monthly by Modern Machine Shop and its parent, Gardner Publications.

The index is an aggregation of many factors that machining shops and businesses in North America report on each month, including New Orders, Production, Employment, and Future Business Expectations.

While New Orders retracted (-6.1%), Production (4.5%) and Backlog (9.8%) rose significantly. Employment showed a slight rise in November (0.9%) - the third straight month that employment has seen growth, however marginal.

Most troubling is the 6th straight month of retraction in Future Business Expectations (-10.7%). While confidence among metalworking managers and professionals remains low, the MBI does show a slower rate of change from previous rankings.

According to Steven Kline, market analyst at Gardner, "Because of the increased production levels, metalworkers continue to increase their employment."

It#39;s good to see this sector show some green shoots.

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