Georgia manufacturing activity slowed for the fourth consecutive month in August.
The Kennesaw State University Econometric Center's monthly Purchasing Managers Index has fallen more than 13 points since April. In August, it was just barely above 50 – the line between a growing industry and one that’s retracting.
New orders fell, pushing down production and employment, said Don Sabbarese, the center's director. And since new orders are a leading indicator, that could signal further slowdown.
Sabbarese said companies are also waiting to see how the presidential election turns out.
“Probably after the election is over and businesses have a better idea who’s going to be in the White House and who’s going to be in charge in Washington, they can start making longer-term decisions," he said. "I think right now, most of their decisions are on hold.”
Slowing economies in Europe and China also are hurting demand for Georgia products.
“[The declines are] the combination of the uncertainty, which is affecting [manufacturers'] customers, and what’s happening in Europe and the slowdown in China," Sabbarese said. "You could pin it on those two things: uncertainty and global slowdown.”
Georgia manufacturers produced more than $42 billion in goods in 2010. About 62 percent of those goods were exported.