Demand components lead to composites GBI contraction

For the first time in two years, the Composites Fabricating Index has contracted, though components continue to shift between expanding and contracting activity.    


GBI: Composites Fabricating reading for December 2022.

All good things… (must come to an end). GBI: Composites Fabricating activity contracted for the first time in two years in December. Photo Credit, all images: Gardner Intelligence

The GBI: Composites Fabricating was down three points in December, closing the month out at 48.9. This contracting activity, or slowed growth, follows a more positive reading of 51.9 reported in November. According to Gardner Intelligence, the last time Index activity contracted below “50” was August 2020, though October 2022 activity came close.

Unlike many of the other manufacturing segments, the composites Index has been holding out on contracting activity for some time, continuing to expand while others have contracted. Three components representing demand — specifically, backlog, exports and new orders — contracted at faster rates in December compared to previous months. Production activity, on the other hand, expanded, which poses a bit of a puzzle since production is related to demand components. Similarly, employment activity continued to expand despite known workforce challenges and recession fears. Supplier deliveries continued on its slower expansion journey to a more “normal” state following highs inflated by supply chain issues.

New orders, backlog, and export activity contracted at faster rates in December.

Slowed demand. New orders, backlog and export activity contracted at faster rates in December compared to previous months.