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posted on 03 July 2017

June 2017 Manufacturing Survey Growth Mixed

Written by Steven Hansen

The ISM Manufacturing survey improved and remained in expansion. The key internals correlated and remained in expansion. The Markit PMI manufacturing Index, also released today, is in positive territory and marginally declined.

Analyst Opinion of the ISM Manufacturing Survey

ISM manufacturing index movements have correlated with Industrial Production Manufacturing index only half the time in the last 12 months. Based on this survey and the weak district Federal Reserve Surveys, one would expect the Fed's Industrial Production index to be unchanged in June. Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession.

From Bloomberg / Econoday:

Consensus Range Consensus Actual
Markit Manufacturing 52.1 to 53.0 52.2 52.0
ISM Manufacturing 54.0 to 56.0 55.1 57.8

From the Markit PMI Manufacturing Index:

Manufacturing growth weakens again in June

  • Slowest rise in production volumes since September 2016
  • New order growth eases for fifth month running
  • Input prices broadly unchanged in June
  • June data pointed to a relatively subdued month for the U.S. manufacturing sector, with output, new order and employment growth all slowing since May. At the same time, survey respondents signalled resilient confidence towards the year ahead outlook, with optimism up to its strongest level since February. Meanwhile, cost pressures were the weakest recorded for 15 months, which resulted in the slowest pace of factory gate price inflation since late-2016.
  • The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit final US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI™) registered 52.0 in June, down from 52.7 during May, to signal the least marked improvement in overall business conditions since September 2016. Slower rates of output and new business growth were the main factors weighing on the headline PMI in June, which more than offset a stronger contribution from the stocks of purchases component.

z markit_pmi.PNG

Relatively deep penetration of this index below 50 has normally resulted in a recession.

The noisy Backlog of Orders improved and remains in expansion. Backlog growth should be an indicator of improving conditions; a number below 50 indicates contraction. Backlog accuracy does not have a high correlation against actual data.

Excepts from the ISM release:

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June, and the overall economy grew for the 97th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: "The June PMI® registered 57.8 percent, an increase of 2.9 percentage points from the May reading of 54.9 percent. The New Orders Index registered 63.5 percent, an increase of 4 percentage points from the May reading of 59.5 percent. The Production Index registered 62.4 percent, a 5.3 percentage point increase compared to the May reading of 57.1 percent. The Employment Index registered 57.2 percent, an increase of 3.7 percentage points from the May reading of 53.5 percent. The Supplier Deliveries index registered 57 percent, a 3.9 percentage point increase from the May reading of 53.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 49 percent, a decrease of 2.5 percentage points from the May reading of 51.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 55 percent in June, a decrease of 5.5 percentage points from the May reading of 60.5 percent, indicating higher raw materials' prices for the 16th consecutive month, but at a slower rate of increase in June compared with May. Comments from the panel generally reflect expanding business conditions; with new orders, production, employment, backlog and exports all growing in June compared to May and with supplier deliveries and inventories struggling to keep up with the production pace."

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in June in the following order: Furniture & Related Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; Wood Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Petroleum & Coal Products. Three industries reported contraction in June compared to May: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; and Primary Metals.

z%20ism_mfg.png

It is interesting to note that ISM Manufacturing represents less than 10% of USA employment, and approximately 20% of the business economy. Historically, it could be argued that the production portion of ISM Manufacturing leads the Fed's Industrial Production index - however the correlation is not strong when looking at trends.

However, holding this and other survey's Econintersect follows accountable for their predictions, the following graph compares the hard data from Industrial Products manufacturing subindex (blue bar) and US Census manufacturing shipments (red bar) to the ISM Manufacturing Survey (purple bar).

Caveats on the use of ISM Manufacturing Index:

This is a survey, a quantification of opinion - not facts and data. However, as pointed out above, certain elements of this survey have good to excellent correlation to the economy. Surveys lead hard data by weeks to months, and can provide early insight into changing conditions.

Many use ISM manufacturing for guidance in estimating manufacturing employment growth. Econintersect has run correlation coefficients for the ISM manufacturing employment and the BLS manufacturing employment data series above going back to 1988, using quarterly data. The coincident correlations are actually negative, but poor (r = -0.2 to -0.4 for various time periods examined). See here for definitions.

Before 2000 the ISM employment data had a weak positive correlation to the BLS data 4 to 7 quarters later (r values above 0.6). Since 2000 the correlations for ISM manufacturing employment as a leading indicator for the BLS manufacturing employment have been between 0 and 0.3 for r (correlation coefficient). These values define correlations as none to poor.

In other words, ISM employment index is not useful in understanding manufacturing jobs growth.

The ISM employment index appears useful in predicting turning points which can lead the BLS data up to one year.



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