US: PMI Manufacturing Index Flash


Thu May 21 08:45:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous
Level 54.6 54.2 to 56.0 53.8 54.2

Highlights
Markit's US manufacturing sample had been far stronger than other readings on the sputtering sector but is a little less so with the May report where the index slipped slightly to a 16-month low of 53.8, 8 tenths below the Econoday consensus.

Slowing growth in new orders, including weakness in export orders tied directly to strength in the dollar, held down the May index. Another area of weakness remains the energy sector where business spending is down. Shipment growth slowed to its slowest rate so far this year.

Strength in the report is centered in employment, but this won't last if orders continue to slow. Deliveries continue to be delayed in part by persistent bottlenecks tied to the long since resolved port strike. Costs are up but inflation remains marginal.

The manufacturing sector is having a tough spring following six prior months of slowing. Watch for the Philly Fed report coming up this morning at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
The PMI manufacturing index has been strong in general, in contrast to government data, and has been signaling special strength in hiring, also in contrast to hard data. Markit Economics' manufacturing data are closely watched for indications on other countries but not, at least yet, on the US.

Definition
Purchasing Managers' Manufacturing Index (PMIs) is based on monthly questionnaire surveys of selected companies which provide an advance indication of what is really happening in the private sector economy by tracking changes in variables such as output, new orders, stock levels, employment and prices across the manufacturing sectors. The flash index, usually released about a week before the final, gives a preliminary reading of conditions for the current month.

Description
Purchasing Managers' Manufacturing Index (PMIs) is based on monthly questionnaire surveys of selected companies which provide an advance indication of what is really happening in the private sector economy. The flash index, usually released about a week before the final, gives a preliminary reading of conditions for the current month.

Investors need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the economy because it dictates how various types of investments will perform. By tracking economic data such as the ISM manufacturing index in the U.S. and the Markit PMIs in the U.S. and elsewhere, investors will know what the economic backdrop is for the various markets. The stock market likes to see healthy economic growth because that translates to higher corporate profits. The bond market prefers less rapid growth and is extremely sensitive to whether the economy is growing too quickly and causing potential inflationary pressures.

The Markit PMI manufacturing data give a detailed look at the manufacturing sector, how busy it is and where things are headed. Since the manufacturing sector is a major source of cyclical variability in the economy, this report has a big influence on the markets. And its sub-indexes provide a picture of orders, output, employment and prices.