Gardner Intelligence Blog

Gardner Intelligence is very pleased to announce that our Advanced Materials Business Index products have launched! This new system allows Gardner to track business activity by the type of equipment or materials used in facilities across the country.

Moving forward we will now be able to separately monitor business activity among Glass Fiber and Carbon Fiber fabricators. We will also have the ability to evaluate business activity among shops specialize in using Five Axis Machines, EDMs or Grinding equipment. In total Gardner will now be able to track 17 additional materials or specialized processes.

The full list includes the following (which may expand in the future):
Electroplating, Electrocoating, Blow Molding, Carbon Fiber Fabricating, Glass Fiber Fabricating, EDMs, Grinding, Powdercoating, Thermoplastics, Thermosets, and Thermoforming. We will also be tracking several additional end-markets beyond our current 24. New end-markets will include Consumer Products manufacturing and Wind Energy manufacturing.

You can see the advantages of these new products by reading CompositesWorld’s latest article on the glass fiber industry's supply chain challenges.

Glass Fiber Supply Chain Struggles Amid Pandemic, Economic Recovery

January Housing Permits Highest Since 2006

January Housing Permits Highest Since 2006

There were 128,300 housing permits filed in January 2020, which was the highest total for January since 2006 (permits are seasonal). Permits filed in January increased 13.7% compared with one year ago. Housing permits grew seven of the last eight months and in six of those months, the growth was faster than 11.5%.

Regarding the annual rate of change, January was the 18th-straight month of growth and the 10th in the last 12 with growth faster than 5.0%. While the annual rate of growth decelerated slightly to 5.8%, the one-month and three-month growth rates indicate that the annual rate of growth will accelerate in the upcoming months.

Monetary Base Continued Strongest Growth Since Depths of 2008-2009 Financial Crisis

In January, the monetary base was $5.248 trillion, which was an increase from the previous month and the highest level ever. Compared with one year ago, January’s monetary base was up 52.4%, which was the fifth month in a row and seventh in the last nine months with faster than 50% growth. This was the 10th consecutive month that the month-over-month rate of change was faster than 44%. This was the 14th month in a row of month-over-month growth. 

The annual rate of growth accelerated to 44.0% in January, which was the 10th straight month of accelerating growth and the fastest rate of growth since April 2010. Based on the monthly and quarterly trends in the money supply, the annual rate of change will contract to accelerate for the first half of 2021.

2021 Will (Again) Be the Year of the Supply Chain

In mid-February 2021, Gardner Intelligence had the privilege of speaking to the AMT on the state of supply chains and their importance in 2021.  Our message in short was that like the second-half of 2020, 2021 will be the year of the supply chain.  Yet the reasons behind why 2021 will be the year of the supply chain have evolved.  In 2020, the goal for many firms was to reorient themselves after COVID’s abrupt and severe impact on supply chains in order to have at least a minimally functional supply chain that could maintain modest production targets.  Data from the Gardner Business Index (GBI) during 2020 made it quite apparent that inventory management was a significant problem for many firms as global shutdowns resulted in severely delayed and/or non-deliveries from suppliers.  The closure of plants and production slowdowns of critical goods resulted in many downstream firms having to stop production for lack of one or several sub-assemblies.  Having and maintaining a minimally functional supply chain in 2020 was deemed a “success” for many manufacturers.

In 2021 the challenge of resolving supply chains will persist; however, the consequences for failing to remedy such problems will have different consequences.  The failure to manage your supply chain in 2021 may very well result in quickly spiraling input costs.  There is a significant and growing chance of rising price inflation, especially in the durable goods industry.  This has been made evident by rising material costs as evidenced by steel prices and steel futures.

Real 10-Yr Treasury Rate Continues Climb

Real 10-Yr Treasury Rate Continues Climb

In January, the nominal 10-year Treasury rate was 1.08%, which was the highest the rate and the first time the nominal rate was more than 1% since February 2020. The nominal rate trended higher for the sixth straight month.

The real 10-year Treasury rate, which is the nominal rate minus the rate of inflation, was -0.07%. This was the 13th consecutive month and 16th of the last 18 that the real rate was negative. However, the rate was grinding slowly higher since April.  January’s real rate was the highest since December 2019, which was the last time the real 10-year Treasury rate was positive.


Top Shops

‘Top Shops’ is a benchmarking and recognition program designed to help shops build their business.

World Machine Tool Survey

An independent annual survey that collects statistics from machine tool consuming and producing countries and compares them in real U.S. dollars.

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more.

Gardner Business Index

A diffusion index measuring month-to-month changes in activity at durable goods and discrete parts manufacturing facilities.