“2019 was a better year than you think, finishing essentially even with 2018. Responding shops have balanced expectations going into 1Q 2020.” -PMPA Business Trends Review and Summary December 2019
Despite the drop in shipments in the last two months of the year, calendar year 2019 finished at 133, one point off last
year’s calendar year final of 134, and up nearly 10 points or 7.8 percent over the average of the last five years 2014-2018.
December came in at 110, up 3.4 points and 3.2 percent over the five- year average for the month of December.
Despite the softening of shipments in November and December, 2019 has been a very strong year
for Sales, and finished virtually even with 2018. Even with the lowest level of sales for the year this month, we are just one
point (less than ¾ of a percent!) off last year’s Sales for the year.
Forty-two percent of our shops were scheduling overtime in December! The almost even balance between sentiments to increase or decrease for all of our sentiment indicators likely
bode well for a level and stable start in 2020. We have no reason to complain about sales softness with both the December and year-end sales numbers coming in above 5-year averages.
The Fed INDPRO release for December reported “increases of 0.2 percent for manufacturing.”
After two years of strong sales growth (2017 was up 6.8% over 2016; 2018 was up 7.2% over 2017), 2019 finished
essentially even with 2018.
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