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PURCHASING MANAGERS STILL REPORTING STRENGTH

 DETROIT, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- February's survey of the National Association of Purchasing Management-Metro Detroit (NAPM-MD), compiled by Comerica Bank, confirmed the economic strength exhibited by the Michigan economy over the past four months and offered further insight to U.S. economic expansion over the past year.
 The overall composite index in February was 59.0, one-half point up from January's level of 58.5. In February 1992, the composite index stood at 53.1.
 Comment
 "The most notable aspect of February's report was the flip-flop in momentum that occurred between the auto and non-auto sector respondents," said David L. Littmann, first vice president and senior economist at Comerica Bank in Detroit.
 "Although still in an expansion phase, the auto sector purchasing executives noted softening from a feverish pace of 68.5 in January to 56.0 in February, whereas non-auto respondents registered an improvement from 52.7 in January to 60.5 in February," Littmann said.
 The Comerica Bank economist also observed that February represented the 13th consecutive month for which the combination of new order, output, and employment-related activity in southeast Michigan was above 50.0, the threshold for generally improving economic conditions.
 "The two continuing red flags in the outlook are the statements of caution and concern over the effects of higher taxes expressed by four of February's respondents and the continuing increase in materials prices cited by both auto and non-auto managers," Littmann said.
 Items noted in short supply for February included automotive linings, valves, selected steel products including hot and cold roll steel, many personal computers and related parts including hard drives and electronic relays, and some chemicals, chiefly Dow Chemical products.
 AUTO NON-AUTO TOTAL
 Jan Feb Jan Feb Jan Feb
 NAPM-MD Index 68.5 56.0 52.7 60.5 58.5 59.0
 Production 76.3 63.9 56.3 71.4 64.7 68.9
 New Orders 73.7 61.8 59.4 70.0 64.7 67.3
 Inventories 60.5 52.9 40.9 50.0 48.1 51.0
 Employment 63.2 55.9 43.9 47.1 51.0 50.0
 Vendor 47.4 35.3 45.5 50.0 46.2 45.1
 Performance
 Prices 63.2 67.6 56.3 60.0 58.8 62.5
 Weighting 36.5 34.0 63.5 66.0 100.0 100.0
 Comerica Bank compiles the NAPM-MD survey report from monthly responses of local purchasing managers belonging to the 500-member NAPM-MD (National Association of Purchasing Management-Metro Detroit). The report indicates whether fundamental measures of the economy are stronger, weaker or unchanged from the prior month.
 This Composite Index (CI) is a seasonally adjusted weighted average measure of new orders and production activity along with employment, inventories, and the promptness of supplier company deliveries. The index ranges from 0 to 100. A CI below 50 generally means conditions are deteriorating; CI levels above 50 denote expansion. The CI and its components have been tabulated since October 1985.
 -0- 3/5/93
 /CONTACT: David L. Littmann, First Vice President & Senior Economist, Comerica Bank, 313-222-7241/
 (CMA)


CO: Comerica Bank;
 National Association of Purchasing Management-Metro Detroit ST: Michigan IN: FIN SU: ECO


SM -- DE027 -- 3613 03/05/93 17:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 5, 1993
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