Manufacturing slows in the United States

Here’s the ISM report in numbers and words.


  • "Business results (top and bottom line) continue to meet or exceed our operating plan and exceed prior year performance by double digits." (Chemical Products)
  • "Business continues flat relative to prior month and is expected to remain flat. Commodities continue to be the main concern heading into 2011." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • "Our business is softening due to seasonal considerations. Overall, our situation is much better than 2009." (Machinery)
  • "Customers seem to be pulling back on orders. I suspect that they are trying to reduce their inventory for the approaching year-end." (Transportation Equipment)
    "Strategic customers reducing order quantities." (Computer & Electronic Products)

What do I make of the numbers? They were certainly softer than expected but not alarmingly so. There was a bit of a giveback from the preceding month, yes. But I don’t see anything in these numbers that points to imminent recession. In my view, these numbers are a non-event consistent with a weak recovery.

Source: September 2010 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

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