New Orders, Purchasing Activity Down
Buyers reported a 9% drop in new orders from customers in April, as the new orders index fell to a reading of 2.14. The new orders index had risen in February and March after falling slightly in January. Buyers reported a larger decline in their own purchasing activity during the month, as the new purchases index fell 13% to 2.07 compared to March. This reverses a three-month upward trend. The new purchases index had risen steadily in the first quarter following a considerable drop in December.
Buyers also reported lower inventory levels during the month, as the inventories index dropped 7%. This follows a 11% jump in inventory levels in March. The inventories index has been unsteady since December when it fell 17% before rising 16% in January and then dropping 9% in February.
Pricing and Lead Times
The GPI pricing index fell slightly in April, registering less than a percentage point lower than March’s reading. Buyers had been reporting rising prices for electronic components in January and February before noting a 7% decline in the index in March.
Buyers polled for the April GPI also noted shorter lead times for many of the electronic components they buy. The lead times index fell 3% compared to March. The lead times index has also been up and down recently, rising 9% in January, falling 7% in February, and rising 6% in March.