U.S. ISM Survey shows some positive signs

The ISM Manufacturing Survey came out. The PMI index was 35.6, up from 32.4 in December. It was bad (50 is the tipping point between recession and growth), but it was not all bad. There were two industries with growth: textiles and petroleum. Moreover, the declines in new orders, productions, backlogs, etc. were not accelerating the way they were last month. Perhaps a bottom is forming here – especially on pricing.


I see this report as a net positive. The trend is not a clear acceleration to the downside as it was in December. Note thew areas highlighted in red above.

Below is a video from Bloomberg in which you can get a feel for the differing views on what this data says about manufacturing and the economy going forward.

January 2009 Manufacturing ISM Report On BusinessĀ® – ISM

1 Comment
  1. Don the libertarian Democrat says

    I was interested by the employment numbers and interpretation. Since I believe that we had proactive shedding of jobs in November and December, I read the numbers as saying that the proactive trend is ending. Norbert Orr seemed to say that jobs are usually held longer, but I’m speculating that he’s wrong this time. However, it does seem that the employment numbers are good news. In fact, Orr seems pretty upbeat. As for China, surely everyone knows by now that they might be hit big.

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