ISM Manufacturing Index: Slower Expansion in July

This morning the Institute for Supply Management published its monthly Manufacturing Report for July. The latest headline Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 52.8, a decrease of 0.2 from 53.0 the previous month and in expansion territory. Today's headline number was above the forecast of 52.0.

Here is an exerpt from the report:

Fiore continues, “The U.S. manufacturing sector continues expanding — though slightly less so in July — as new order rates continue to contract, supplier deliveries improve and prices soften to acceptable levels. According to Business Survey Committee respondents’ comments, companies continue to hire at strong rates, with few indications of layoffs, hiring freezes or headcount reduction through attrition. Panelists reported higher rates of quits, reversing June’s positive trend. Prices expansion eased dramatically in July, but instability in global energy markets continues. Sentiment remained optimistic regarding demand, with six positive growth comments for every cautious comment. Panelists are now expressing concern about a softening in the economy, as new order rates contracted for the second month amid developing anxiety about excess inventory in the supply chain. Demand dropped, with the (1) New Orders Index contracting again, (2) Customers’ Inventories Index remaining at a low level but approaching 40 percent and (3) Backlog of Orders Index decreasing but still in growth territory. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) was mixed during the period, with a combined positive 1.2-percentage point impact on the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. The Employment Index contracted for the third month in a row after expanding for eight straight months (September 2021 through April), but panelists again indicated month-over-month improvement in hiring ability in July. Challenges with turnover (quits and retirements) and resulting backfilling continue to plague efforts to adequately staff organizations. Inputs — expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to constrain production expansion, but to a significantly lesser extent compared to June. The Supplier Deliveries Index indicated deliveries slowed at a slower rate in July, which was supported by an increase in the Inventories Index. The Imports Index continued to expand in July after one month of contraction preceded by six straight months of growth. The Prices Index increased for the 26th consecutive month, at a much slower rate compared to June. See report