Survey shows slowdown in manufacturing

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Twin Disc said its recent quarterly income fell 87 percent to $1 million, or 9 cents a share, from $7.59 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier.

The manufacturer of power transmission equipment for the marine and petroleum industries blamed some of the poor results on softening demand for its oil-field products and weakness in its Italian megayacht business, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on manufacturing and political uncertainties.

"The slowdown in the North American oil and gas markets will impact sales and profitability, and we remain cautiously optimistic about the outlook for fiscal 2013," Twin Disc chairman and CEO Michael Batten said in a statement.

According to data from a monthly survey of manufacturers released Tuesday by Marquette University and the local chapter of the Institute for Supply Management, a measurement of new orders at manufacturers in the southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois areas was 41 in July, down from 55.8 in June, while the employment index was 51.3, down from 73.8 in June.

Doug Fisher, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management in Marquette University's College of Business Administration, said he was disappointed with the results but not surprised, as similar national figures fell in June.

"We are all in the same ocean together," Fisher told the paper. "Companies want to know more if they're going to make investments."

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