July ISM Shows Continuing Improvement

The July ISM numbers continued to show the manufacturing economy still in a state of contraction but just barely.

The index rose to 48.9 in July from 46.2 in June. Any number below 50 indicates contraction. Within the numbers, new orders were up to 55.3 from 49.2, production came in at 57.9 versus 52.5 and surprisingly the employment index grew to 45.6 from 40.7.

From Jake at EconomPicData.com, here is a graphic of the sectors:

[pmi.png]

Separately, Ford released its July sales numbers early and they were up 2.3% over the comparable period last year. That’s the first increase the company has reported in over two years. I will post all of the manufacturers’ numbers later.

The ISM improvement is both expected and welcome. There seems little doubt that the economy is stumbling towards expansion. It’s going to take some time to determine whether were just seeing inventory restocking or a base is forming for continued growth. As always, consumer demand is going to be the key to any sustained recovery.

more: here and here

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