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Study: SE Wisconsin backlogs of manufacturing orders drops this month

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Factories in southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois saw their backlogs of customer orders go down this month.  

However, the general health of the region's manufacturing economy got a little better.  

Marquette University and the Milwaukee area chapter of the Institute of Supply Management said the area's manufacturing index for December was 54.27 -- slightly higher than the 52.06 in November. Anything above 50 indicates growth, while anything below 50 reflects a decline.  

Backlogs of existing orders dropped from 52.63 in November to just 42.86 this month. However, the index for manufacturing employment had a healthy increase, from 50.5 to 58.82.  

The Marquette-Supply Management survey reported that military suppliers saw less business, exports dropped a little, and prices for some manufacturing items rose -- like paper and natural gas.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)