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new orders

Factory Orders Fell 2.9 Percent in December

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The Census Bureau said that new factory orders fell 2.9 percent in December, declining for the fourth time in the past five months. New manufactured goods orders decreased from $470.0 billion in November to $456.5 billion in December, its lowest level since June 2011. As such, these data continue to reflect a disappointing pace of demand for manufactured products in light of recent economic slowness globally. On a year-over-year basis, new orders have declined by 3.9 percent, down from $474.9.0 billion in December 2014. Read More

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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

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

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

ISM: Manufacturing Activity Contracted for the First Time in Three Years in November

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The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracted for the first time in three years in November. The composite index fell from 50.1 in October to 48.6 in November, the first negative number since October 2012 and the lowest level since June 2009. This is one more piece of evidence that manufacturers continue to struggle in the face of a strong dollar, lower commodity prices and difficulties in growing international demand. Indeed, the index for new orders decreased from 52.9 to 48.9, representing a sharp decline from the more-robust pace of 63.0 observed in November 2014. Much like the headline figure, the new orders measure was the lowest since August 2012, or essentially in just over three years. Behind this number, new export orders (unchanged at 47.5) have declined in eight of the 10 months year-to-date. 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

Markit: U.S. Manufacturing Activity Rose to a 5-Month High in October

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Activity rebounded in October in the United States, with the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI jumping to its highest level since May. The composite measure rose from 53.1 in September to 54.0 in October, boosted by stronger output growth (up from 53.7 to 54.0) and a shift to slightly positive exports (up from 49.8 to 50.6). At the same time, new orders (down from 54.7 to 54.0) and employment (down from 52.2 to 51.4) both eased a bit for the month. These data suggest modest growth in demand and production for manufacturers in the U.S., even as the rate of growth for each remains slower than what was observed in the spring. The headline index peaked at 55.7 in March year-to-date, with the output index measuring a fairly robust 58.2 that month, but activity has decelerated since then on a number of global economic headwinds. Read More

Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Declined for the 8th Straight Month, but Stabilized in October

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The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district declined for the eighth straight month, but it stabilized a bit in October. The composite index of general business conditions improved from -8 in September to -1 in October. This measure has been in negative territory in each month since March, with reduced crude oil prices, the strong dollar and weaknesses abroad pressuring the sector’s performance. At the same time, the October headline number was not far from being neutral, providing some encouragement. Indeed, much of this increase stemmed from a recovery in the pace of new orders (up from -8 to 7), its first positive reading so far this year, with production (up from 1 to 4) expanding slightly for the second consecutive month. Read More

Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Remained Weak in October

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that growth in the manufacturing sector declined once again in October, extending the contraction seen in September. The composite index of general business activity improved slightly from -6.0 in September to -4.5 in October, but the data indicate further weakening of economic conditions overall in the district. Indeed, new orders (down from 9.4 to -10.6), shipments (down from 14.8 to -6.1) and hiring (down from 10.2 to -1.7) each shifted from modest growth to contracting levels of activity for the month. Thirty-six percent of those completing the survey said that new orders declined for them in October, with one-quarter citing increases and one-third noting no changes. Moreover, in a series of special questions, respondents noted that there continued to be a lot of “slack” in capacity, with an average utilization rate of 76.0 percent, down from 77.4 percent at this time last year. Read More

NY Fed: Manufacturing Activity Contracted for the Third Consecutive Month in October

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The Empire State Manufacturing Survey reflected contracting levels of activity for the third consecutive month in October. The composite index of general business conditions was -11.4 in October, a slight improvement from the -14.7 reading observed in September. Nonetheless, the pace of new orders (down from -12.9 to -18.9), shipments (down from -8.0 to -13.6) and hiring (down from -6.2 to -8.5) each deteriorated further, with the sales number declining at the sharpest rate since November 2010. Just over 37 percent of respondents said that new orders were lower in October, compared to 18.3 percent citing increased demand and 44.6 percent suggesting that demand was unchanged. Read More