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Gardner Business Index 57.1: Business Activity Surges in New Orders, Backlogs and Employment Gains

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Gardner Business Index February 2021

The Gardner Business Index moved steadily higher during February thanks to expanding new orders, backlog, and employment activity. Supply chain challenges continue to stymie the industry and hinder further production gains.

Business activity levels as recorded by the Gardner Business Index (GBI) expanded during February to 57.1 thanks to further activity gains in new orders, backlogs, and employment. Excluding export activity, all index components reported rising levels of business activity over the prior month. New orders and backlog readings for the month rose to levels last reported in mid-2018 and February’s employment activity matched readings last reported in mid-2019. The encouragement created by these gains however was tarnished by a 6-point rise in the supplier delivery reading. Rising delivery readings indicate that order-to-fulfillment times are lengthening and that manufacturers in general are struggling to obtain the upstream goods necessary to complete their orders. Read more