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U.S. MANUFACTURING OUTLOOK IMPROVES SLIGHTLY, ACCORDING TO APICS INDEX

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The economic outlook for U.S. manufacturing improved slightly in September, according to a new monthly economic index released today by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) and Evans Economics, Inc. Among highlights of the APICS Business Outlook Index:
 -- The overall APICS Business Outlook improved from 48.6 to 51.0 in September, after falling in July and August.
 -- Most of the index gain occurred in the future conditions component, which was boosted by an unusually low dip in the inventory/sales (I/S) ratio -- in absolute terms and relative to the desired ratio. The indexes for unfilled orders and production planning improved slightly, with only a small drop in the index for new orders.
 -- The picture for the current conditions component was mixed, with the manufacturing sector still far from robust. Only shipments showed a gain, with manufacturing employment continuing to decline and production almost flat. Inventory stocks also declined further.
 "The index results clearly show that inventory decumulation in the manufacturing sector has come to an end, removing one source of contraction for the overall economy," said Michael Evans, creator of the new index. "(But) the components of the index that would ordinarily point to a substantial turnaround in business activity in the months ahead have not yet registered those gains."
 The new manufacturing-based index was announced by Evans and Donald Ledwig, executive director of APICS (a 70,000-member, not-for-profit, educational society for manufacturing professionals), during a news conference today in Washington. The index is based on confidential survey responses from about 100 manufacturing firms.
 For a copy of the full index report (faxed or mailed) and/or to receive it monthly, call Barbara Gleason, 703-237-8344, ext. 271.
 -0- 9/29/93
 /CONTACT: Barbara Gleason of APICS, 703-237-8344, ext. 271/


CO: APICS ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: ECO

DC-KD -- DC007 -- 6761 09/29/93 11:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1993
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