The Institute for Supply Management numbers keep coming, and keep coming strong. According to the latest January PMI numbers, we’ve seen 20 consecutive months – almost two years – of continued expansion in the manufacturing sector. And the economy overall has continued to grow for 68 straight months.

Everything is coming up roses, right? Well, maybe.

Although the New Orders, Production, and Employment Indices all showed growth for January, they were all lower than December.

The impact of the oil price collapse is being felt, and it’s having a ripple effect beyond the oil and gas industry. As oil majors begin curtailing production, new equipment orders are going down. As new oilfield equipment orders slow, component suppliers to that sector slow.

Globally, manufacturing growth in the UK is at a six-month high. A number of our US clients continue to look overseas for growth. We recently concluded a Director of Operations search for a Midwest manufacturing client’s new operation in India, geared toward producing high quality automotive components to serve the developing local market there. Another client is adding business development resources in China, South Korea and Japan to capitalize on growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific market for their power generation equipment business.

All in all, we remain bullish about the manufacturing sector for 2015. According to the Association for Manufacturing Technology, 2014 was one of the top three years in the past two decades, and 2015 is expected to see continued growth. Based on year to date activity with our Industry practice clients throughout the US, we’re optimistic about what the future holds.