Economic News Blog
Posted by: Michael Guckes 4. September 2019

GBI Rebounds Slightly in August

The Gardner Business Index (GBI) experienced a modest rebound in August, registering 49.0. This comes after the July reading, which marked the Index’s first contractionary reading in over two years. The Index has fallen 15.3% from the same month one year ago. Index readings above 50 indicate expanding activity, while values below 50 indicate contracting activity. The further away a reading is from 50, the greater the magnitude of activity change. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data for the month observed that the Index – calculated as an average of its components – was supported by supplier deliveries and production, as well as a ‘no change’ reading in new orders. Pushing down the Index for August were employment, exports and backlogs, all of which reported contracting results.

Gardner Intelligence was particularly encouraged by the rebounding readings in new orders and production after both measures reported contracting values during the prior month.  New orders and production are typically leading measures of the overall Index.  Often these two measures foreshadow directional changes in backlogs, supplier deliveries and employment.

As stated last month, Gardner Intelligence stresses that business leaders should be vigilant in monitoring the current business cycle in whole and in its many facets.  As we have shared on our website blog and on our social media accounts, not all end markets are experiencing the same economic conditions as those reported by the overall Index, which represents the entire manufacturing sector.  Of the many economic and business indicators that Gardner Intelligence follows, some continue to suggest an economy that is foundationally strong and resilient while other indicators provide a more tepid view.  This may in large part be a function of how much influence-specific factors – international exposure and trade being at top of mind – have in influencing given segments of the economy.

For the month, Composites was the best performing technology; it was followed by Metalworking, Plastics, Finishing, Production Machining and MoldMaking. To learn more about manufacturing business activity levels across regions, end markets, company sizes and manufacturing processes, please visit

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