Finishing Industry Rebounds from Recent Slowing

The index bounced back in August after July’s move lower.


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Registering 55.4 for August, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Finishing rebounded from its sharp deceleration the previous month. The latest reading puts the index back above its 2017 average reading, which is significant since the Index recorded its best-ever calendar-year performance last year. However, as measured against the exceptionally strong 2018 year-to-date results, this latest reading is the second lowest in the current calendar year. August’s index was supported by supplier deliveries, employment and production. Conversely, the average-based index was pulled lower by new orders, backlogs and exports. Exports was the only index component that signaled contraction.

August’s data were unique in that all index components showed improvement except for supplier deliveries, which moved slightly lower. This was not of concern, however, since recent values established all-time high readings. This broad-based improvement, if sustained in future months, may indicate a broad economic resumption or even improvement in business conditions or business outlook moving into the fourth quarter of 2018 and beyond.