Manufacturing Slowing

The Institute for Supply Management reports that manufacturing in the United States is growing at the slowest rate in several years:

WASHINGTON – U.S. factory activity grew last month at its slowest pace since May 2013 as manufacturerspared their stockpiles and cut jobs.

The Institute for Supply Management says its index of factory activity slipped to 50.1 in October from 50.2 in September. The figures barely signal growth, which is any reading above 50.

A measure of hiring fell sharply, from 50.5 to 47.6. That means manufacturers cut jobs last month.

Still, the report contained some bright signs: New orders jumped, suggesting that business may pick up in coming months. And a gauge of production rose for the first time since July.

U.S. manufacturers have been squeezed this year as a strong dollar and weak economies in China and other key foreign markets have cut into exports.

In other words, we’re getting conflicting signals from the U. S. economy. Some sectors, particularly those that are highly subsidized by the federal government, are growing; others not so much.

3 comments… add one
  • Guarneri Link

    Once again, I suspect some will cite “anecdotal,” but I would suggest that manufacturing has been softer that just “this year” and is softer than most realize.

  • mike shupp Link

    The marvels of globalization. Used to be, 50 years ago, that the USA would aim at strong growth whenever Europe got into a slump, so American consumers would pull those foreign folks away from recession. (Somehow, it always seemed to be the US saving Europe and never the other way ’round, but that’s another tale. And Japan was always sort of a statistical appendage of Europe, up to 1990 or so, but that’s just a footnote, not a story of its own.)

    Now we have China to deal with as well, in our newer better world. And our economy has its weaknesses, but Europe is even weaker, and China is displaying frailities, so this doesn’t bode well for the next couple of years.

    And in another decade or so, we’ll be able to add India to the mix! Truly, there is no end to wonderfullness! Wait till Brazil and South Africa and Nigeria all get dubbed as economic Superpowers. What fun we will have.

  • Guarneri Link

    So since there is really nothing on a grand scale we can do other than a fair currency translation we need to recognize we can’t afford the drag of all the nonsense with which we burden our businesses and the economy. We just can’t afford it.

    The notion we can roll back globalization is best saved for beer and pizza driven dorm bull sessions and active opium dens.

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