Tuesday, November 01, 2011

ISM Manufacturing index indicates slower expansion in October

by Bill McBride on 11/01/2011 10:00:00 AM

PMI was at 50.8% in October, down from 51.6% in September. The employment index was at 53.5%, down from 53.8%, and new orders index was at 52.4%, up from 49.6%.

From the Institute for Supply Management: October 2011 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October for the 27th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 29th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The PMI registered 50.8 percent, a decrease of 0.8 percentage point from September's reading of 51.6 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 27th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased 2.8 percentage points from September to 52.4 percent, indicating a return to growth after three months of contraction. The Prices Index, at 41 percent, dropped 15 percentage points, and is below the 50 percent mark for the first time since May 2009 when it registered 43.5 percent. Inventories decreased to 46.7 percent, which is 5.3 percentage points below the September reading of 52 percent. Comments from respondents are mixed, indicating positive relief from raw materials pricing and continuing strength in a few industries, but there is also more concern and caution about growth in this uncertain economy."
ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

This was below expectations of 52.0%, and suggests manufacturing expanded at a slightly slower rate in October than in September. It appears manufacturing employment expanded in October with the employment index at 53.5%. New orders were up, and prices fell sharply.