Tag: hiring

Markit: Chinese Manufacturing Activity Slipped Further into Negative Territory in July

The Caixin Flash China General Manufacturing PMI dropped from 49.4 in June to 48.2 in July, its lowest level since April 2014. Chinese manufacturing activity has now contracted in 7 of the past 8 months, continuing a deceleration trend in that nation’s economy. Indeed, all of the PMI subcomponents were in negative territory in July, with most of them slipping further. This included new orders (down from 50.3 to 48.1), output (down from 49.7 to 47.3) and exports (down from 50.3 to 46.6), with domestic and foreign demand declining once again after stabilizing slightly in June. Employment (up from 46.6 to 47.4) fell at a slower pace for the month, and yet, hiring has now decreased in 27 of the past 28 months. These data are consistent with recent economic indicators from China, which have reflected slower growth, particularly relative to the rates experienced at the end of last year or earlier. (continue reading…)

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Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Declined for the Fifth Straight Month in July

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity declined for the fifth straight month in July, albeit at a slower pace than in either May or June. The composite index of general business conditions increased from -13 in May to -9 in June to -7 in July. Overall, manufacturers continue to report contracting levels of activity, with reduced crude oil prices, the strong dollar and weaknesses abroad pressuring the sector’s performance. Indeed, various measures of activity were negative across-the-board, even with some of them showing a slower rate of decline for the month. This included new orders (down from -3 to -6), production (up from -21 to -5), shipments (up from -15 to -2) and exports (down from -5 to -10). Exports have now declined for seven consecutive months. (continue reading…)

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Philly Fed: Growth in Manufacturing Activity Slowed Somewhat in July

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that growth in the manufacturing sector in its district slowed somewhat in July. The composite index of general business activity decreased from 15.2 in June, its highest level so far in 2015, to 6.7 in July. This suggests some deceleration in the expansion rate, leading more respondents to indicate declines in several key underlying data points. For instance, the percentage of manufacturers suggesting that their new orders had decreased in the month rose from 19.7 percent in June to 24.7 percent in July. This corresponded to the percentage of respondents citing increased new orders dropping from 35.0 percent to 31.7 percent. As such, the new orders index dropped from 15.2 to 7.1 – a reading that suggests a modest expansion in demand in June, even as the growth rate eased from a more-robust pace in July. (continue reading…)

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NY Fed: Manufacturing Activity Rebounded Somewhat in July

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey said that activity rebounded somewhat in July. The composite index of general business conditions from the New York Federal Reserve Bank improved from -2.0 in June to 3.9 in July, indicating a slight expansion in activity for the month. Nonetheless, even with better data in July, the year-to-date average for this composite measure was just 4.1, suggesting only modest growth for the sector. This compared to an average of 13.8 in the second half of 2014, showing a deceleration in the overall growth rate as a number of economic headwinds have dampened activity in the New York Fed’s district. (continue reading…)

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NFIB: Small Business Optimism Dipped in June after Rebounding in Prior Two Months

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism dipped in June after rebounding in the prior two months. The Small Business Optimism Index declined from 98.3 in May to 94.1 in June, its lowest level in 15 months. As such, it suggests that sentiment has once again moved in the wrong direction, reversing signs of progress in April and May. In addition, it remained below the peak observed in December (100.4), which was the highest level since October 2006. The percentage of respondents suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” dropped from 14 percent to 9 percent, with economic conditions and the political climate cited as the top concerns for those suggesting that was not the right time for expansion. (continue reading…)

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ADP: After Three Months of Employment Declines, Manufacturing Hiring Ticked Higher in June

ADP said that manufacturing employment rose by 7,000 in June, ending a three-month period of declines in hiring for the sector. This is welcome news, as it suggests that job growth has begun to recover from weaker economic conditions earlier in the year. Year-to-date, the manufacturing sector has added just 8,000 workers on net. This compares to 164,000 net new jobs generated in 2014, or an average of roughly 13,650 per month. Hopefully, we will return to a similar pace as we move into the second half of 2015.

In the larger economy, nonfarm private businesses added 237,000 workers in June, extending the 203,000 gain observed in May. Nonfarm payrolls have risen by 200,000 or more in 15 of the past 17 months, with the exceptions being in March and April of this year. As with the manufacturing data described above, this indicates a rebound from springtime softness in the overall labor market. (continue reading…)

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Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturers Contracted for the Sixth Straight Month

The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity contracted in its Texas district for the sixth straight month. Nonetheless, the pace of decline eased a bit in June, with the composite index of general business conditions increasing from -20.8 in May to -7.0 in June. While this might represent some progress, the larger headline is that this index has been negative in each month so far in 2015, mainly due to lower crude oil prices. With that said, there might be a sense of stabilization. As one fabricated metal products manufacturer said in the sample comments, “Signs of some stability in oil and gas exploration and production are emerging. If that continues, then our business conditions will benefit in the coming months.” (continue reading…)

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Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Declined for the Fourth Straight Month in June

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity declined for the fourth straight month in June, albeit at a slower pace than in May. The composite index of general business conditions increased from -13 in May to -9 in June. The slower decline for the headline measure stemmed largely from an easing in the decrease of new orders (up from -19 to -3). Still, it is hard to paint this report in a positive manner, with continued sluggishness across the board. For instance, the rate of production weakened even further (down from -13 to -21), with shipments (down from -9 to -15), employment (up from -17 to -9) and exports (up from -9 to -5) all solidly in contraction. Exports have been negative for six consecutive months. (continue reading…)

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Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Expanded at Fastest Rate since January

The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank reported that manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest pace since January – a sign that the sector has made progress since the spring. The composite index of general business activity improved from 1 in May to 6 in June. This figure was boosted, in particular, by stronger new orders (up from 2 to 11), its highest level since October. Shipments (up from -1 to zero) were unchanged for the month, but that represented some stabilization after four straight months of contraction. Overall, this report found modest growth in the manufacturing sector in the Richmond Fed district, which – while not as strong as we might prefer – found sentiment moving in the right direction. (continue reading…)

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Markit: Eurozone Manufacturers Report Fastest Growth since April 2014

The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI increased from 52.2 in May to 52.5 in June, its fastest pace of growth since April 2014. (The composite measure, which adds in services, rose to a 49-month high.) For manufacturers, output (up from 53.3 to 53.5) and employment (up from 51.6 to 52.0) both edged higher, with each expanding modestly. At the same time, there were slight easings for new orders (down from 52.7 to 52.5) and exports (down from 53.2 to 52.6). Nonetheless, the underlying story is a positive one, with Europe making significant progress in recent months and brushing off possible risks from Greece. With that said, robust growth continues to be elusive, with real GDP up 0.4 percent in the first quarter and industrial production up just 0.1 percent in April. On a year-over-year basis, the Eurozone grew 1.0 percent, with industrial output up 0.8 percent. (continue reading…)

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