United States: ISM manufacturing index reflects ongoing weakness in sector
November 2, 2015
In October, the ISM manufacturing index came in at 50.1%, which was just below the 50.2% recorded in September and marked the lowest reading since May 2013. The result was roughly in line with market expectations of 50.0%. The index has weakened for four consecutive months and is barely holding above the 50.0% threshold that distinguishes between expansion and contraction in the manufacturing sector.
The index was mainly dragged down by falling employment, which hit the lowest level since 2009. However, on a positive note, production and new orders were both up in October, which provides some hope that the manufacturing sector may rebound in the months ahead. Meanwhile, inventories diminished and supplier delivery times were broadly unchanged in October.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist