October 1, 2015

September ISM Manufacturing: 50.2 Percent (Down 0.9 Pct. From Aug.), Barely in Expansion; 11 of 18 Industries in Contraction

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 9:45 am

Per Yahoo’s Business calendar, predictions are for a reading of 50.0 (neither expansion nor contraction) at Briefing.com and 50.6 according to the “markets.”

It’s very difficult to understand why it shouldn’t come in lower, given that six regional surveys covering what is probably a majority of the country’s manufacturing base have all come in strongly negative.

If it does come in positive, I believe it will be primarily for this reason: “… ISM is mostly hearing from the firms that are doing well, and not hearing much, if anything, from those which aren’t.” A little seasonal adjustment cooking in the upward direction may also be on tap, as has been alleged in previous months.

The report will be here at 10:00 a.m.

HERE IT IS (permanent link; bolds after first paragraph are mine; some paragraph breaks added by me):

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 33rd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 76th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The September PMI® registered 50.2 percent, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from the August reading of 51.1 percent.

The New Orders Index registered 50.1 percent, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points from the reading of 51.7 percent in August. The Production Index registered 51.8 percent, 1.8 percentage points below the August reading of 53.6 percent.

The Employment Index registered 50.5 percent, 0.7 percentage point below the August reading of 51.2 percent.

Backlog of Orders registered 41.5 percent, a decrease of 5 percentage points from the August reading of 46.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 38 percent, a decrease of 1 percentage point from the August reading of 39 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the 11th consecutive month. The New Export Orders Index registered 46.5 percent, the same reading as in August.

Comments from the panel are mixed with some concern about the global economy and customer confidence.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, seven are reporting growth in September in the following order: Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

The 11 industries reporting contraction in September — listed in order — are: Primary Metals; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products.

The three primary GDP drivers are in weak shape: Orders at 50.2, Production at 51.8, and Backlog at an awful 41.5 (probably the lowest in years).

Translation: Manufacturers are working through their orders at a much faster rate than they are coming in — and barring a major change, they’re going to be running low on work in a very short time.

Given the results of the six regional surveys mentioned earlier, it’s very reasonable to believe — and I believe that it’s actually the case — that manufacturing was in an overall contraction during September — and possibly already was in August.

NewsBusted (092215)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 9:02 am

Once again, in catch-up mode. Here we go:

– Wrong Direction
– European Refugee Crisis
– Bernie Sanders
– Hillary Clinton
– Brian Williams on MSNBC
– New Jersey Tanning Mom
– Apple Windshields
– College Marijuana Use

Best Lines:

  • “According to a new poll, 68% of adults believe the country believes we’re heading in the wrong direction. And 30% are so disillusioned, they’re considering moving back to Mexico.”
  • “Most Democrats say Bernie Sanders say is more honest and caring than Hillary Clinton. But then again, who isn’t?”
  • “Hillary Clinton’s image continue to deteriorate. To give you an idea of how bad it is, even Brian Williams is calling her a liar.”
  • “After more than 6 months in exile, Brian Williams is back on TV on MSNBC. Williams will be earning $10 million a year, which comes to about $1 million per viewer.”
  • “Apple is developing new computerized windshields that display driving directions and roadmaps — and all without requiring drivers to take their eyes off their cellphones.”

Initial Unemployment Claims: 277K SA; Raw Claims (215K) 5 Pct. Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:43 am

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending September 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 277,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 267,000. The 4-week moving average was 270,750, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 271,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 215,483 in the week ending September 26, a decrease of 3,856 (or -1.8 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 11,741 (or -5.4 percent) from the previous week. There were 227,571 initial claims in the comparable week in 2014.

There was almost no difference between this year’s seasonal adjustment factor of 77.8 and last year’s 78.0.

Considering the low level of raw claims (even though the year-over-year decline is much lower than in previous weeks), there’s nothing alarming here.

Positivity: Pope Francis reportedly met with Kim Davis, offered support

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:15 am

From Washington:

Sep 30, 2015 / 08:47 am

Embattled county clerk Kim Davis met with Pope Francis in Washington, D.C. last Thursday, her lawyer has told multiple media outlets.

When asked about the meeting, the head of the Holy See press office, Fr Federico Lombardi, said, “I don’t deny that the meeting may have taken place but I don’t have comments to add.”

Robert Moynihan, editor of the publication “Inside the Vatican,” first broke the story about the alleged meeting. According to his account, Pope Francis and Davis met at the Vatican Embassy in D.C. on Thursday afternoon after the Pope’s address to the U.S. Congress. He offered her words of support – “Thank you for your courage” – and told her to “stay strong,” offering rosaries to Davis and her husband.

Davis, a clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, made headlines this past summer for refusing out of conscience to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, after the U.S. Supreme Court in June legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states in its decision, Obergefell v. Hodges.

The district court judge ordered that Davis serve jail time for refusing to obey the law, stating that her conscientious objection was not enough for her to lawfully recuse herself from issuing licenses. Davis served five days in jail.

According to Moynihan, Vatican sources confirmed the details of the meeting. Davis’ attorney Mathew Staver confirmed to multiple outlets that the meeting occurred and told CBS News that the two promised to pray for each other, and that Pope Francis offered Davis and her husband rosaries.

“I can confirm the meeting took place Thursday afternoon in DC,” the Twitter account for Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and attorney for Davis, said on Tuesday night.

Liberty Counsel released a statement Tuesday evening linking to Moynihan’s report. The rosaries that Pope Francis reportedly presented to Davis and her husband were blessed by the Pope and would be given to Kim’s parents, both of whom are Catholic, the group said.

According to the Liberty Counsel statement, Davis responded that she was “humbled” to meet the Pope.

“Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong,’” she said, according to the statement. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100115)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.