Manufacturing activity cools, prices fall
ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 50.2 in October
The ISM’s Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.2 in October from 50.9 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion, which suggests manufacturing activity continues to expand but at a decelerating rate.
From the ISM’s Timothy Fiore:
“The U.S. manufacturing sector continues to expand, but at the lowest rate since the coronavirus pandemic recovery began. With panelists reporting softening new order rates over the previous five months, the October index reading reflects companies’ preparing for potential future lower demand. In the meantime, demand eased, with the (1) New Orders Index remaining in contraction territory, (2) New Export Orders Index below 50 percent for a third consecutive month and at a faster rate of contraction, (3) Customers’ Inventories Index remaining at a low level, with the same reading as in September and (4) Backlog of Orders Index slipping into contraction. Output/Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) improved month over month, with a combined positive 3-percentage point impact on the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. The Employment Index shifted from contraction to a reading of 50 percent (unchanged), and the Production Index increased by 1.7 percentage points, staying in modest growth territory. Business Survey Committee panelists’ companies are continuing to manage head counts through hiring freezes and attrition to lower levels, with medium- and long-term demand still uncertain. Inputs — defined as supplier deliveries, inventories, prices and imports — mostly accommodated growth. The Supplier Deliveries Index indicated faster deliveries and the Inventories Index dropped 3 percentage points as panelists’ companies continued to manage the total supply chain inventory. The Prices Index decreased for a seventh straight month and fell into contraction territory, which should encourage buyers…“
On that last point, the good news amid this not-so-great report is that prices are finally falling.
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