August 1, 2007

July ISM Manufacturing Report Comes in at 53.8%

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 10:27 am

The Institute for Supply Management’s reported 53.8% trailed expectations of 55.5% (link requires free registration).

That’s down from 56 last month, still in expansion mode (any reading above 50 indicates expansion), and slightly higher than the Bush 43 budget-responsibility average of 54.4 noted last month.

After a late-2006 and early-2007 hiccup, that’s six months in a row of expansion, and 48 out of the past 50. Also noted last month:

Only two other periods in the 60 years of the ISM Manufacturing Index have a (better) track record — August 1975 through July 1979 (48 straight months) and April 1961 through December 1966 (68 of 69 months, including a streak of 51). The Reagan-Bush years had a run of 42 expansions out of 43 months from October 1985 through April 1989, which included a streak of 33. A full history of the index is here.

Given relatively high gas prices, the soft homebuilding and home improvement industries, and the ongoing struggles at US-based automakers, it’s impressive that the index continues to stay positive. May it continue.

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UPDATE, August 2: So here’s how the Associated Press played it, in an unbylined report

While the U.S. manufacturing sector grew for the sixth consecutive month in July, expansion was the slowest since March, a survey said Wednesday, indicating that the economy is plodding along at a tepid pace.

Earth to AP — Manufacturing is only 14% of “the economy.” AP would be advised to chill on its premature e-celebration until the other 86% gets reported on Friday in ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Report.

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2 Comments

  1. Tom, Have you noticed NewsMax has been really downbeat lately even more so than usual, it’s like some crazy guy with a sign around his neck proclaiming “it’s the end of the world”. What gives? It seems to be hawking all kinds of stuff over there.

    Comment by dscott — August 2, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

  2. #1 DS, I have a long memory. I haven’t forgiven NM for falling for a Bush won the popular vote mis-report in early 2001. I don’t go there often, so I wouldn’t know about the change in tack you refer to.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 2, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

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