US: PMI Manufacturing Index

Tue Dec 01 08:45:00 CST 2015

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous
Level 52.6 52.5 to 54.5 52.8 54.1

Markit's U.S. manufacturing sample, which has been reporting much stronger levels of activity than others, reports slower rates of growth in November. The final index for the month is 52.8 for a 2 tenths improvement from the flash but down a tangible 1.3 points from October.

Softness in new orders, rising at their slowest pace in just over two years, is the chief reason for the dip. Export orders are in contraction, once again the result of weak foreign demand made weaker for U.S. goods by the strength of the dollar. Weakness in new orders is compounded by the first contraction in backlog orders since November last year. With orders down, output moderated in the month and manufacturers cut back inventories of finished goods.

Hiring is slowing and supplier delivery times are improving, both indicative of weakness. Price readings remain mute.

Though levels in this report are still pointing to growth, their weakness relative to prior months points perhaps to contraction in November for the factory sector which, however, bounced back in October, at least based on the industrial production and factory order reports. Watch for the ISM report coming up at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
Markit's manufacturing PMI finally slowed, slipping nearly 1-1/2 points to a two-year low of 52.6 in the November flash report. New orders showed similar slowing, held down by contraction in export orders. Production in this report, however, has been very strong and, back in October, accurately foreshadowed what turned out to be a jump for manufacturing in the industrial production report.

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.

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.

Markit originally began collecting monthly Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data in the U.S. in April 2004, initially from a panel of manufacturers in the U.S. electronics goods producing sector. In May 2007, Markit's U.S. PMI research was extended out to cover producers of metal goods. In October 2009, Markit's U.S. Manufacturing PMI survey panel was extended further to cover all areas of U.S. manufacturing activity. Back data for Markit's U.S. Manufacturing PMI between May 2007 and September 2009 are an aggregation of data collected from producers of electronic goods and metal goods producers, while data from October 2009 are based on data collected from a panel representing the entire U.S. manufacturing economy. Markit's total U.S. Manufacturing PMI survey panel comprises over 600 companies.