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manufacturing activity

ism

ISM: Manufacturing Sentiment Negative for the Fourth Straight Month

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The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said that manufacturing sentiment remained somewhat negative in January. The purchasing managers’ index for the sector edged marginally higher, up from 48.0 in December to 48.2 in January. It was the fourth straight month with the headline PMI under 50, which would suggest contracting sentiment among manufacturers over that time frame. This mainly reflected deteriorating employment (down from 48.0 to 45.9) and inventories (unchanged at 43.5), with the decline in hiring at its lowest level since June 2009, the last official month of the Great Recession. Indeed, manufacturers continue to worry about the impact of the global slowdown as we start the new year. This can be seen in export growth (down from 51.0 to 47.0). The exports index has contracted in seven of the past eight months on the strong dollar and soft growth abroad. Read More

Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Contracted for the Fifth Straight Month in January

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that manufacturing activity contracted for the fifth straight month in January. The composite index of general business activity rose from -10.2 in December to -3.5 in January, and yet, the headline figure has now been in negative territory since September. (Note that prior data reflect an annual revision for seasonal adjustments.) The underlying data were mixed. The pace of decline for new orders (up from -11.1 to -1.4) slowed in this latest report. In contrast, labor market data worsened for the month, including hiring (down from 2.2 to -1.9) and the average workweek (down from 0.6 to -2.2). On the positive side, shipments (up from -2.1 to 9.6) picked up at a decent rate, expanding after three consecutive months of declines. Read More

ism

ISM: Manufacturing Activity Remained Negative in December for the Second Straight Month

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The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) remained negative for the second straight month. The composite index fell from 48.6 in November to 48.2 in December, its lowest level since June 2009. As such, manufacturers reported soft demand and production activity at the end of 2015, which represented a sharp contrast to the modest growth seen 12 months prior to that. Indeed, the ISM Manufacturing PMI was 55.1 one year ago, and it peaked last year at 58.1 in August 2014. The sector has struggled with sluggish growth abroad and lower commodity prices over much of the past year, dampening overall manufacturing activity. Along those lines, new orders (up from 48.9 to 49.2) and production (up from 49.2 to 49.8) continued to indicate weaknesses in the sector, even as each recorded some easing in the pace of decline in December. To be fair, however, the sample comments also noted some segments that were doing well at year’s end, particularly those aligned with the automotive sector. Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturers Reported Improved Activity in December, But Still Soft

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank reported improved activity in December, rebounding after three straight months of declines. The composite index of general business activity rose from -3 in November to 6 in December, its first positive reading since July. (The measure was zero in August.) As such, manufacturers in the district ended 2015 with better news, even as overall conditions remained relatively soft. The higher headline number stemmed largely from improvements in new orders (up from -6 to 8), capacity utilization (up from zero to 2), employment (up from zero to 12) and the average workweek (up from -3 to 7). At the same time, shipments (up from -2 to zero) and the backlog of orders (up from -16 to zero) stabilized for the month. Read More

Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Returned to Negative Territory in December

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that manufacturing activity returned to negative territory in December, contracting for third time in the past four months. The composite index of general business activity declined from 1.9 in November to -5.9 in December. The decrease in the headline number was led lower by a worsening in new orders (down from -3.7 to -9.5). The percentage of respondents suggesting that sales had increased for the month dropped from 25.8 percent to 22.4 percent, with those noting decreasing orders up from 29.5 percent to 31.9 percent. This suggests that manufacturers in the Philly Fed region remain quite anxious about demand given global challenges and falling commodity prices, mirroring concerns seen nationally. Read More

NY Fed: Manufacturers Contracted for the 5th Straight Month in December, Albeit at a Slower Pace

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The Empire State Manufacturing Survey reflected contracting levels of activity for the fifth straight month in December, albeit at a slower pace. The composite index of general business conditions improved from -10.7 in November to -4.6 in December. It was the best reading of the headline index since July’s 3.9 figure. The improvement could be seen in growth of shipments (up from -4.1 to 5.5) for the month, which expanded for the first time since July, and a slower rate of decline for new orders (up from –11.8 to -5.1). Looking more closely at the new orders figures, the percentage of respondents saying that their sales had declined for the month has fallen from 37.2 percent in October to 30.6 percent in this latest report. That represents progress of some sort, but it must also be compared to the one-quarter of those completing the survey who had increased new orders. Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Declined for the Third Straight Month in November

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity declined for the third straight month in November, highlighting recent challenges in the sector in the district. The composite index of general business activity declined from -1 in October to -3 in November. Manufacturers reported reduced growth in new orders (down from zero to -6), shipments (up from -4 to -2) and the average workweek (down from -5 to -3). Note that the pace of decline eased for both shipments and the workweek, and similarly, capacity utilization (up from -14 to zero) stabilized after falling sharply the month before. At the same time, employment continued to pull back from modest gains in prior months. Hiring (down from 3 to zero) stagnated in November, with wage growth (down from 17 to 6) slowing. Read More

Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Rebounded Slightly in November

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that manufacturing activity rebounded in November after contracting in the prior two months. The composite index of general business activity improved from -4.5 in October to 1.9 in November. With that said, manufacturers in the district were not fully out of the woods yet, with several key indicators continuing to decrease on net. This included new orders (up from -10.6 to -3.7), shipments (up from -6.1 to -2.5) and the average workweek (down from -7.3 to -16.2). The good news there was that the pace of decline for new orders and shipments eased for the month – a fact trumpeted by the Philly Fed in the press release noting “slight improvement” in November. Hiring (up from -1.7 to 2.6) also picked up a little, even as three-quarters of responses noted no change in employment. Read More

NY Fed: Manufacturing Activity Contracted for the Fourth Straight Month

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The Empire State Manufacturing Survey reflected contracting levels of activity for the fourth straight month in November. The composite index of general business conditions improved slightly from -11.4 in October to -10.7 in November, even as this measure has been in solid negative territory since July. The underlying data were also negative across-the-board, even as there was some easing in the pace of decline for most of them. This included new orders (up from -18.9 to -11.8), with one-third of respondents saying that their sales had declined for the month, down from 37.2 percent who said the same thing in the prior report. At the same time, 21.4 percent of those completing the survey cited increased new orders in November, up from 18.3 percent in October. Data for shipments (up from -13.6 to -4.1) were similar. Read More

Durable Goods Orders Fell for the Second Straight Month in September

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Durable goods orders declined for the second straight month in September, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau. New orders fell 1.2 percent in September, extending the 3.0 percent decrease observed in August. At least part of this decline could be explained by reduced nondefense aircraft sales, which have continued to normalize after soaring in June during the Paris Air Show. This led to a 2.9 percent decrease in new orders for transportation equipment despite a rebound in motor vehicle and parts sales (up 1.8 percent). Still, even excluding transportation equipment, new durable goods orders fell 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, in August and September, indicating broader weaknesses in the sector. Read More