Composites industry index was flat for March

The GBI: Composites Fabricating closed March flat, losing 1.3 of the 3.1 points gained in February.


GBI March Composites Fabricating

Flattening out. GBI: Composites Fabricating expansion slowed to flat in March. Photo Credit, all images: Gardner Business Intelligence

The Gardner Business Index (GBI): Composites Fabricating closed March at 50.3, following a reading of 51.6 in February. While composites fabricating activity was down overall for the month, the absence of major changes in March suggests the month was relatively stable.

As for GBI components, nothing was especially remarkable in March. Compared to February, a slowdown in new order contraction, slightly faster production and employment expansion, and fairly consistent contraction of backlog combined to paint a picture that is more encouraging than discouraging. If April is a continuation of March, that picture could look optimistic for composites.

Supplier deliveries continued to lengthen at a slower rate in March. If the almost 18-month trend continues, delivery times will shorten, signaling volume is low enough for suppliers to keep up. That scenario is both good news and bad news — shops can get materials on time, but this is because of lower volume.

All told, recent months provide little indication of what April will hold for composites activity.

GBI components March Composites Fabricating

Continuing expansion. Production and employment expanded a bit faster in March. (This graph is on a three-month moving average.)