The seasonally adjusted Milwaukee Report on Business dropped to 43.31 in September from 47.14 in September, the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee reported Wednesday.

New orders received fell to 33.10 from 37.90, production slid to 34.46 from 41.76, employment decreased to 45.50 from 56.61, supplier deliveries gained to 56.71 from 53.79, and backlog of orders slumped to 32.76 from 42.50.

Inventory levels increased to 46.77 from 45.65, customers’ inventories gained to 53.85 from 52.78, prices fell to 50.00 from 52.17, exports decreased to 47.62 from 52.94 and imports rose to 45.45 from 42.50.

The blue collar diffusion index decreased to 45.5 from 47.6, while the white collar diffusion index slid to 57.1 from 58.9.

Respondents’ comments included:

--Although not supported by economic data or conditions, our corrugated supplier has announced a 5.1% increase. Prices on most other commodities remains unchanged.

--Heavy truck production is down due with shorter work schedules, which has reduced our order rate.

--Increasing pessimism globally for remainder of 2012 and 2013.

--Customers worry about election outcome.

--Business will remain slow or soft until after the elections. Business owners don't want to invest until they know what direction the government will go.

--We are moving aggressively to grow our business, not waiting for the economy to improve.

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