ARLINGTON, Va. -- The already struggling manufacturing base is headed for further decline, according to a report by the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.
MAPI's March 2009 composite index dropped to 21 from the previous historic low of 28 in December 2008. The index indicates that overall manufacturing activity is expected to contract over the next three to six months.
The March 2009 survey marks the third consecutive quarterly reading below 50, the demarcation point between growth or contraction. The index stood at 57 one year ago.
"The extent of the decline in the individual indexes to such low levels in absolute terms is unprecedented in the history of the Business Outlook Survey," said Donald A. Norman, MAPI Economist. "Further, the decline in activity extends across the entire manufacturing sector."
The export orders index fell from 25 percent to 8 percent, while the capacity utilization index fell from 26.7 to 10.5 percent. The orders index fell from 15 to 4 percent, and the annual orders index dropped to 7 percent from 16 percent.
In all, 11 of the 12 indexes measured in the survey fell to all-time lows.
For more information, visit http://www.mapi.net