ISM Manufacturing Index: Expansion In January

Today the Institute for Supply Management published its monthly Manufacturing Report for January. The latest headline Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 56.6 percent, an increase of 2.3 percent from 54.3 the previous month. Today's headline number was above the Investing.com forecast of 54.2 percent.

Here is the key analysis from the report:

The January PMI® registered 56.6 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points from the December reading of 54.3 percent. The New Orders Index registered 58.2 percent, an increase of 6.9 percentage points from the December reading of 51.3 percent. The Production Index registered 60.5 percent, 6.4-percentage point increase compared to the December reading of 54.1 percent. The Employment Index registered 55.5 percent, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the December reading of 56 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 56.2 percent, a 2.8 percentage point decrease from the December reading of 59 percent. The Inventories Index registered 52.8 percent, an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the December reading of 51.2 percent. The Prices Index registered 49.6 percent, a 5.3-percentage point decrease from the December reading of 54.9 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the first time in nearly three years."

Here is the table of PMI components.

 

The chart below shows the Manufacturing Composite series, which stretches back to 1948. The eleven recessions during this time frame are indicated along with the index value the month before the recession starts.

ISM Manufacturing

 

For a diffusion index, the latest reading of 56.6 is its twenty-ninth consecutive month of expansion. What sort of correlation does that have with the months before the start of recessions? Check out the red dots in the chart above.

Here is a closer look at the series beginning at the turn of the century.

Since 2000

 

Note: This commentary used the FRED USRECP series (Peak through the Period preceding the Trough) to highlight the recessions in the charts above. For example, the NBER dates the last cycle peak as December 2007, the trough as June 2009 and the duration as 18 months. The USRECP series thus flags December 2007 as the start of the recession and May 2009 as the last month of the recession, giving us the 18-month duration. The dot for the last recession in the charts above is thus for November 2007. The "Peak through the Period preceding the Trough" series is the one FRED uses in its monthly charts, as illustrated here.

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