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NOVEMBER SIGNALS WEAKENED MANUFACTURING FORECAST

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Slower projected growth in manufacturing output, coupled with lackluster activity in new orders and unfilled orders could mean slower growth in manufacturing during early 1994, according to the November American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Business Outlook Index. The index is based on confidential inventory, sales and production data from about 100 manufacturing firms.
 The overall index reported a slight increase for November (from 53.1 to 54.2), driven mainly by the current conditions component (which rose from 50.1 to 52.8). (The current conditions component is based on manufacturing shipments, employment, industrial production, inventory stocks).
 The future conditions component fell slightly from 56.1 to 55.6. (The future component consists of durable goods new orders -- excluding aircraft and defense -- production plans, unfilled orders, ratio of actual-to-desired inventory/sales ratio).
 "The key finding this month is that production will rise at a slower rate in early 1994," reports economist Michael Evans, creator of the index. He cited as reasons: a) a slow down in the growth in new orders and a stop in the rise of unfilled orders; and b) a rise in inventory stocks for the first time since February -- now near desired levels.
 "Earlier this year, reversals in this (futures) component proved to be useful predictors of short-term trends," said Evans. "The decline in February was followed by stagnation in the manufacturing sector through much of the spring and summer months, while the pickup in September signaled more robust growth for the fourth quarter."
 The new manufacturing-based index was unveiled on Sept. 29 (after nearly a year of testing) by Michael Evans and Donald Ledwig, executive director of APICS, a not-for-profit, 70,000-member educational society of manufacturing professionals. For a complete copy of the report and to receive the index on a monthly basis, call Barbara Gleason, 703-237-8344, ext. 271.
 -0- 11/29/93
 /CONTACT: Barbara Gleason of the American Production and Inventory Control Society, 703-237-8344, ext. 271, or 703-750-6620 (evenings)/


CO: American Production and Inventory Control Society, Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: ECO

IH-DT -- DC020 -- 8291 11/29/93 12:27 EST
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Date:Nov 29, 1993
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