Economy

Economic Data Roundup (05/23/2016)

5/23/16 12:00 PM

iStock_000009946822_Small.jpgThe only U.S. economic data released this morning is a report from Markit Economics which suggests that there is still no clear end in sight for the “industrial recession” in America that started last summer. Specifically, Markit’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 50.5 in the first-half of May, worse than expected and the weakest headline reading since 2009. Production volumes weighed heavily on the index this month as output contracted for the first time in more than half a decade. Many surveyed managers reported that “uncertainty around the general economic outlook had caused clients to delay spending decisions, which in turn prompted firms to trim their production schedules.” Elsewhere, new orders expanded at the slowest pace of 2016 and inflationary pressures showed signs of firming. On the bright side, total employment in the manufacturing sector rebounded somewhat from April’s 34-month low. Overall, though, this is a disappointing report and not too surprising since data on regional manufacturing activity released last week suggested that the April recovery might have been short-lived. Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, added that “The weak manufacturing PMI data cast doubt on the ability of the US economy to rebound from its disappointing start to the year in the second quarter. The survey is signaling that manufacturing will act as a drag on economic growth in the second quarter, leaving the economy once again dependent on the service sector, and consumers in particular, to sustain growth.”

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Sources: Econoday, Bloomberg, Twitter, ZH, Markit Economics, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch