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Thursday, January 3, 2013

ISM manufacturing data

The latest ISM data came in slightly above 50 for Dec.  Here is a look at the chart.


The ISM index took a tumble mid year in 2010 and is still muddling around the lows.  This is the weakest it has been in the fourth quarter since the last recession ended.  Will it continue to improve in 2013, or slip back below 50?

Here is the new orders index.


New orders were above 50 for the second month in a row, but just barely.  Just like the main index number, this is the lowest value of this index at year end since the last recession.  There is not enough strength here to indicate the economy is picking up again.

Here is the export new orders index.


This is the first month of expansion after 6 months of contraction.  Will there be more strength in Jan. or is this temporary?

Here is the employment index.


The employment index crossed back above 50 again.  It is still near the lowest levels of the recovery though.

We exit 2012 with the weakest ISM data we have had since the recovery began.  However, it is not clearly indicating we are in a recession yet.  Will the pick up in export orders continue?  Is that a sign the global economy is starting to improve?  It could be, but I don't think there is enough strength here yet to be able to determine that.  We will have to see what happens in the next report.


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The information in this blog is provided for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as investment advice.