While economic data continues to come in mixed to generally weaker relative to expectations, the ISM Manufacturing report for June was very strong on an absolute basis and relative to expectations. While economists were expecting the headline index to come in at a level of 55.1 from last month’s level of 54.9, the actual reading came in at 57.8, which is just shy of the six-year high of 57.9 back from August 2014.
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Not only was the headline index strong, but the commentary also paints a picture of robust activity. Below we have included a snapshot of some of the selected commentary from this month’s report. With the exception of one comment concerning environmental regulations, every other one suggests steady, solid, and or strong business activity.
The internals of the report further confirm that positive tone. Of the ten sub-indices in the report, all but two showed a m/m and y/y improvement in June. The biggest increases on a sequential basis were Production and New Orders. On the downside, Prices Paid was far and away the largest decliner in June.