US Factory Activity Contracts for 1st Time in a Decade

The IHS Markit US Manufacturing PMI dropped to 49.9 in August 2019 from 50.4 in the previous month and below market expectations of 50.5, a preliminary estimate showed. The latest reading pointed to the first month of contraction in the manufacturing sector since September 2009.

The decline in the headline PMI mainly reflected a much weaker contribution from new orders, which offset a stabilization in employment and fractionally faster output growth.

New business received by manufacturing companies fell for the second time in the past four months during August. Although only marginal, the latest downturn in order books was the sharpest for exactly 10 years. Latest data also signalled the fastest reduction in export sales since August 2009.

Survey respondents indicated that a drop in sales often cited a soft patch across the automotive sector, alongside a headwind to manufacturing exports from weaker global economic conditions.

Meanwhile, manufacturing companies continued to trim their inventory levels in August, which was mainly linked to concerns about the demand outlook. Pre-production inventories fell for the fourth month running, while stocks of finished goods decreased to the greatest extent since June 2014.

US Factory Activity Contracts for 1st Time in a Decade

Markit Economics | Joana Ferreira |
8/22/2019 1:50:08 PM