Supply Chain Sanity

US factory inventories rose 0.7% in September, led by automobiles, machinery and electrical equipment.

I wouldn’t get too worried yet. Inventories remain well below historical levels. We’ll see a slight dip in orders in some end-product segments, some of which is seasonal, some due to OEM caution.

Keep an eye on the component stocks, though. Don’t overorder just because you think parts are going to get even harder to come by. A good supply chain balance requires the entire chain to work together. Remember 2001.

US Economy Heats Up

More good news on the US economy today, as the Commerce Department’s preliminary factory data for September found new orders for manufactured goods rose for the fifth time in six months, increasing $3.3 billion (0.9%).

This comes a day after the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly purchasing managers index rose again and at a faster rate than expected.

And while ISM New Orders index slipped a bit, that index is at 58.5%, suggesting more good news ahead.

The economy would have to catch fire like celebrity chef Rachael Ray in an oven to make up for the pain we’ve gone through the past year. But it’s a start.