Economic Notes for the Week of July 9th

The ISM manufacturing index figure on Monday was certainly a disappointment, as it fell from May’s 53.5 down to 49.7—certainly larger than expected and below the critical ‘50’ mid-line of the diffusion index.  This is now at its weakest point since the summer of 2009.  Most of the components in the index were individually poor, with the new orders, production and export orders pieces all significantly down.  The employment measure was flat, however, and represented one bright spot in an otherwise dreary report, and the prices paid piece was also down—a good thing in this case—as commodity input costs fell, providing less of headwind for manufacturers.  Also, the level of the index itself, at around 50, is not especially low from a historical standpoint, is on par with about where we are at below 2% GDP growth is nowhere near recession levels. Read more