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Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 11:48am

Manufacturing Hits Two-Year Low

Georgia manufacturing activity hit its lowest point in nearly two years in September, the result of a drop in production and new orders.

The monthly Purchasing Managers Index from Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center showed a nine-point decrease to 48.7. Any number below 50 means the industry is contracting.

That also reflected the least amount of manufacturing activity since January 2010, and continued a downward slide that began in May.

“We may see some increase [in activity] in the coming months,” said Don Sabbarese, the center’s director. “I don’t know if we’re going to see the Georgia PMI reach the levels did back in March and April. I think we’re probably operating at a lower level right now.”

The index crept up in August, but Sabbarese said that appears to have been an aberration and a not a trend of growth.

He said manufacturers are feeling less optimistic than they were in April, when many expected higher sales in the future.

“I went back and looked in April how high it was and what it is today, and it’s probably dropped in half the percent of these respondents that said they think their production is going to be up in the next three to six months,” Sabbarese said.

The index has lost nearly 20 points since April.