The Sko-Die team is very thankful to our customers and to our suppliers for the support that we received throughout 2019. The past year has been, to say the least, an interesting year for the domestic manufacturing sector. For our part, we have experienced continuing strength of demand across most sectors that we serve. These conditions have translated into opportunities for us to continue to grow our business with our valued customers and to advance new opportunities in the market.
We have seen some signs at the macroeconomic level that the manufacturing economy is slowing. The US Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) started the year comfortably above 50, indicating general growth. Starting in August, that index dropped below 50, signaling contraction in the overall manufacturing economy. And while we certainly keep an eye on these macroeconomic indicators as a part of our intermediate and long-term planning, we remain optimistic as to the strength of our customers’ business as we head into 2020. We are continuing our strategy of reinvesting in our core business and in committing the necessary resources to support our customers’ demands.
Earlier the year, we discussed our plans for the physical expansion of our manufacturing facility. That plan remains in motion and will add much needed manufacturing space to our facility. We have shared with you throughout the year several profiles of our newer team members. We remain committed to our ongoing investment in the human resource aspect of our business so that we can continue to build our team to meet the expanding needs of our customers. We are also continuing our commitment to ongoing investment in our equipment. We are focused on ensuring that we maintain best in class capability to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers. These investments span from both expansion and replacement of stamping and notching presses, our value-add cells, our inspection equipment as well as continuing investment in the tool fabrication and maintenance aspects of our business.
External to Sko-Die, we continue to see an ever-evolving landscape in the raw material side of our business. Tariffs, mergers and acquisitions are all factors that can influence the sourcing aspect of our business. We remain focused on and committed to our strategy to align ourselves with world class suppliers to ensure the ongoing success of our ability to support our customers. Most recently, we saw a significant acquisition in the Steelmaking sector involving AK Steel and Cleveland Cliffs. We are confident that this will yield a positive impact for the market and will serve to improve this domestic steelmaker’s commitment to serving this market with best in class products and services.
Sko-Die is proud to begin our 73rd year in business. We are continuing our strategy of investing in our business to position ourselves to meet the growing demand that a strong manufacturing economy drives. We are ever thankful to our customers and to our suppliers that continue to favor us with the support that we need to improve and expand our business. We wish you all the best this Holiday season and look forward to a prosperous 2020 with you.
At Sko-Die we remain -