There were two important reports on the U.S. economy released this morning. First, the manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) from IHS Markit lifted to 53.1 in September, better than anticipated. Under the hood, employment expanded at the fastest pace in nine months and new orders continued to grow. Surveyed managers attributed the latter to “strong client demand and greater marketing activity.”
However, Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief business economist, cautioned that “with employment rising faster than output, productivity may be slipping.” Another negative in this report is inflation (potential margin strain), which intensified for manufacturers in September as input prices rose at the quickest rate since December 2012. Much more encouraging is the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM's) manufacturing index, also released this morning, which jumped to 60.8 last month. That was much better than expected and the highest headline reading since June 2004. Measures of new orders, production, and employment all improved in September, and comments from surveyed managers were generally positive.
Sources: Econoday, ZH, Twitter, IHS Markit, ISM, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch