S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI™: Slower Contraction in September

The September S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI™ rose to 49.8 from 47.9 in August, signaling only a fractional decline in operating conditions. The September reading was higher than the expected 48.9 reading. The index has now contracted for 10 of the past 11 months with the sole expansion coming in April of this year.

Here is an excerpt from Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, in the latest press release:

"September saw a welcome near-stabilization of business conditions in manufacturing, but a further increase in price pressures is a concern on the inflation front.

“Output reversed some of the loss seen in August as higher employment and improved supply availability helped factories fulfil backlogs of orders.

“Although the pace of production growth remains disappointingly subdued thanks to a further decline in new orders received during the month, notably from weak export markets, there are signs that the situation will improve as we head through to the end of the year.

“Manufacturers’ expectations of future output have jumped to their highest for nearly one and a half years, supply conditions continue to improve, and the rate of order book decline has moderated considerably in recent months, in part due to fewer producers and customers reporting deliberate cost-focused inventory reduction policies.

“Less encouraging was the news on the inflation outlook, as producers’ costs rose at the fastest rate for five months, largely on the back of higher oil prices. These increased costs are already feeding through to higher prices to customers, which will inevitably result in some renewed upward pressure on inflation.” [Press Release]

Background on the S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI

The S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI™ measures the activity level of purchasing mangers in the manufacturing sector through a questionnaire of ~800 manufacturers. The reported headline number is a weighted average of New Orders, Output, Employment, Suppliers' Delivery Time, and Stocks of Purchases. The S&P Manufacturing PMI is a diffusion index, meaning that a reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector and a reading below 50 indicates contraction.