Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Markit Flash PMI falls to 51.8

by Bill McBride on 7/24/2012 09:07:00 AM

From Markit: PMI signals slowest manufacturing expansion since December 2010

The July Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) indicated the weakest improvement in U.S. manufacturing sector business conditions in 19 months, according to the preliminary ‘flash’ reading which is based on around 85% of usual monthly replies. At 51.8, down from 52.5 in June, the headline index was the second-lowest since the manufacturing recovery was first signalled by the PMI in late-2009 (only December 2010 saw a weaker PMI reading).

PMI index readings above 50.0 signal an increase or improvement on the prior month, while readings below 50.0 indicate a decrease.

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said:

“The U.S. manufacturing sector is clearly struggling under the pressure from falling exports ... Reassuringly, domestic demand appears to be showing ongoing signs of resilience, encouraging firms to take on more staff.

“Overall, the third quarter is so far shaping up to be worse than the second quarter in terms of growth, which is a growing concern for policymakers. Some comfort can be drawn from the fall in prices, which should help keep inflation at bay and increase the scope for further stimulus. However, falling prices are also a worrying sign of just how much demand has weakened in recent weeks.”
This suggests another weak ISM PMI (due next week).