ISM Manufacturing Index Contracts for 3rd Consecutive Month

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 48.5 in June from 48.7 in May. The latest figures keeps the index in contraction territory for a third straight month. The index has now contracted for 19 of the past 20 months. The June reading was below the forecast of 49.2.

Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

Fiore continues, “U.S. manufacturing activity continued in contraction at the close of the second quarter. Demand was weak again, output declined, and inputs stayed accommodative. Demand slowing was reflected by the (1) New Orders Index improving to marginal contraction, (2) New Export Orders Index returning to contraction, (3) Backlog of Orders Index dropping into stronger contraction territory, and (4) Customers’ Inventories Index moving into the low side of the ‘just right’ range, neutral for future production. Output (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) declined compared to May, with a combined 3.5-percentage point downward impact on the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. Panelists’ companies reduced production levels month over month as head count reductions continued in June. Inputs — defined as supplier deliveries, inventories, prices and imports — continued to accommodate future demand growth. The Prices Index eased but remained in expansion (or ‘increasing’) territory; the index registered its second month of cooling increases.

“Demand remains subdued, as companies demonstrate an unwillingness to invest in capital and inventory due to current monetary policy and other conditions. Production execution was down compared to the previous month, likely causing revenue declines, putting pressure on profitability. Suppliers continue to have capacity, with lead times improving and shortages not as severe. Sixty-two percent of manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP) contracted in June, up from 55 percent in May. More concerning is the share of sector GDP registering a composite PMI® calculation at or below 45 percent — a good barometer of overall manufacturing weakness — was 14 percent in June, 10 percentage points higher than the 4 percent reported in May,” says Fiore.