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Economy in Brief

MAPI Business Outlook Survey Off Moderately  
by Tom Moeller July 14, 2006

The 2Q '06 Composite Business Index published by the Manufacturers' Alliance/MAPI fell moderately to 71 from 74 the prior quarter. The figure, however, was higher than the year earlier level and so far in 2006 the average reading of 73 compared favorably to last year's average of 70.

During the last ten years there has been a 69% correlation between the Composite Index Level and quarterly growth in US factory sector output.

The current orders index fell to 81 from 85 in 1Q and the average this year equaled that for all of last year. Since early 2004 the orders index has trended lower from a high of 93.

The 2Q export orders index fell to 72 from 78 in 1Q and from 74 averaged in 2004 & 2005. During the last ten years there has been a 59% correlation between the export orders index and quarterly growth in real US exports.

The profit margins index fell sharply to 74 from 82 in 1Q. Both figures were up sharply from the 2005 average of 65.Capital spending intentions for the coming year moved higher q/q with the index at a record high of 86. During the last ten years there has been a 75% correlation between the capital spending index a q/q growth in business investment.

The survey of 60 senior financial executives representing a broad range of manufacturing industries reflects the views on current & future business conditions. The business outlook index is a weighted sum of shipments, backlogs, inventories, and profit margin indexes.

For the latest US Business Outlook from the MAPI click here.

Manufacturers' Alliance/MAPI Survey 2Q '06 1Q '06 2Q '05 2005 2004 2003
Composite Business Index 71 74 68 70 76 67
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