This is not the first time the ISM has done it, in the US. The Institute of Supply Management reported that the National Purchasing Managers’ index improved to 54.8 in April from 53.4 in March. New orders jumped. Export orders gained. You could not have asked for a better number. I remain unconvinced. Seasonal adjustments are a black box. All the regional purchasing managers’ indicators were substantially weak: New York, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Dallas and Chicago. The inconsistency boggles the mind.
Goldman Sachs has felt ‘compelled’ to issue a Q&A clarification on how the ISM could be out of line with the regional indices. That is significant in itself.
Export orders?! Give me a break. Europe, Australia, China, India – all their economies are slowing. In some cases, their purchasing managers’ indices are well below 50. Who is importing all the world-class that American manufacturers are churning out?