After some positive data on truck sales earlier today, the ISM Manufacturing report for the month of August showed weakness, showing slower growth for the second straight month. While economists were expecting the headline reading to come in at a level of 52.5, the actual reading came in at 51.1, which was the lowest reading since May 2013.
Looking at the internals of August’s manufacturing report, the data was pretty weak. As shown in the table, seven out of the ten subcomponents declined on a month/month basis, while nine out of ten declined on a y/y basis. New orders was one category where we saw a big decline as the m/m reading fell 4.8 points and the y/y reading fell 12.2. The only component that saw a larger decline was Prices Paid. On the upside, Customer Inventories rose 9 points on a m/m basis to 53, which was the highest reading since March 2009. Finally, one notable aspect of the report was the fact that Export Orders fell to their lowest levels since May 2009. That is no doubt due in large part to the strength in the dollar and weakness in international economies. On the flipside, while exports are slowing, there has not been much in the way of growth in imports. The index for that component actually fell to its lowest level since January 2013.