Written by Steven Hansen
The ISM Manufacturing survey improved and remained in expansion. The key internals are in expansion. The Markit PMI manufacturing Index is in positive territory but insignificantly declined.
Analyst Opinion of the ISM Manufacturing Survey
Based on these surveys and the district Federal Reserve Surveys, one would expect the Fed’s Industrial Production index growth rate remain about the same as last month. Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession.
From Bloomberg / Econoday:
|Markit Manufacturing||56.6 to 57.0||56.6||56.4|
|ISM Manufacturing||57.5 to 60.0||58.4||58.7|
From the Markit PMI Manufacturing Index:
May PMI signals further steep improvement in business conditions
- Sharp increases in output and new orders
- Staffing levels expand at quicker pace
- Inflationary pressures remain elevated
- Latest survey data signalled a marked improvement in business conditions across the U.S. manufacturing sector in May. The strong performance reflected sharp expansions in output and new orders. Strong client demand meant operating capacity came under greater strain, with backlogs increasing at the fastest pace since September 2015 and supplier delivery times lengthening to the greatest extent on record. Strong demand for inputs contributed to a sharp rise in purchasing costs, which in turn fed through to a marked rise in output prices.
- The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) registered 56.4 in May, down fractionally from 56.5 in April. The reading marked the secondstrongest improvement in the health of the sector since September 2014. The upturn was largely driven by sharp increases in production and new business. The greatest lengthening in supplier delivery times since the series began in October 2009 also contributed to the headline figure.
From the Institute of Supply Management report:
Relatively deep penetration of this index below 50 has normally resulted in a recession.
Excepts from the ISM release:
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May, and the overall economy grew for the 109th 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 May PMI® registered 58.7 percent, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the April reading of 57.3 percent. The New Orders Index registered 63.7 percent, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the April reading of 61.2 percent. The Production Index registered 61.5 percent, a 4.3 percentage point increase compared to the April reading of 57.2 percent. The Employment Index registered 56.3 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the April reading of 54.2 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 62 percent, a 0.9 percentage point increase from the April reading of 61.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 50.2 percent, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the April reading of 52.9 percent. The Prices Index registered 79.5 percent in May, a 0.2 percentage point increase from the April reading of 79.3 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 27th consecutive month.
“Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength. Demand remains strong, with the New Orders Index at 60 or above for the 13th straight month, and the Customers’ Inventories Index remaining at very low levels. The Backlog of Orders Index continued expanding, with its highest reading since April 2004, when it registered 66.5 percent. Consumption, described as production and employment, continues to expand in spite of labor and skill shortages. Inputs, expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports, had expansion declines, due primarily to inventory reductions likely caused by supplier performance issues. Lead-time extensions, steel and aluminum disruptions, supplier labor issues, and transportation difficulties continue. Export orders expanded at slower rates. The Prices Index is at its highest level since April 2011, when it registered 82.6 percent. Demand remains robust, but the nation’s employment resources and supply chains continue to struggle. Respondents say price pressure at their companies is causing price-increase discussions as we prepare to enter H2.”
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in May, in the following order: Textile Mills; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Machinery; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; and Primary Metals. No industry reported a decrease in PMI® in May compared to April.
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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