UK Manufacturing Grows as Trade Deficit Narrows

Manufacturing output rose by 0.5% in March, for a strong 1.4% increase in the first quarter, stronger than the overall increase in industrial production, which dipped by 0.1% in March but was up by 0.7% in the first quarter. Some of that was a weather effect, the mild March weather reducing gas and electricity output. […]

US Industrial Production: September 2013 Preview

Tomorrow’s US industrial production report for September will be postponed due to the government shutdown. Although the numbers are produced by the Federal Reserve, which remains operational thanks to funding that’s independent of Congressional approval, the central bank advises that this report relies on “a range of data from other government agencies, the publication of which […]

PMI Data Suggest Strong Q3 Growth for UK

All three purchasing managers’ surveys followed a similar pattern in September: down slightly on August’s very high levels but still very strong. The latest, for services, had an index reading of 60.3, and completed the strongest quarter since Q2 1997. The construction PMI, 58.9 after 59.1 in August, included the strongest rise in housebuilding since […]

ISM Mfg. Index Rises In September. On The Other Hand…

The modest rise in the ISM Manufacturing Index in today’s September update surprised most economists, based on consensus forecasts that anticipated a decline. But the advance to 56.2 last month–the fourth consecutive gain for this benchmark–matched yesterday’s average econometric projection via The Capital Spectator. More importantly, this early look at September’s macro profile suggests that economic growth remains the […]

ISM Manufacturing Index: September 2013 Preview

The ISM Manufacturing Index is expected to increase to 56.2 in tomorrow’s September update (scheduled for release on October 1), based on The Capital Spectator’s average econometric forecast. The estimate reflects a slight rise from the previously reported 55.7 for August. Meanwhile, the Capital Spectator’s average projection is moderately higher than three consensus forecasts for […]

Manufacturing – Down, But Not Out

As usual, the first major release of the month is the ISM manufacturing report.  The headline number edged up: That said, I really can’t get terribly excited by this improvement – looks to me that it continues to hover around the 50 mark.  Good only in the sense that the bottom hasn’t dropped out from […]

The East Grows Only Because the West Consumes…It’s a Hypothesis

An abiding belief held by many about the global economy is that the East is one gigantic Foxconn-shaped, steroid-boosted manufacturing facility, pumping out iPhones, shoes, clothing, refrigerators, air-conditioners, and defective toys that its own people could never afford. In this narrative, the only reason that measured Eastern GDP shows any kind of life is because […]

Aging Workforce Threatens China’s Low-Value Production Status

Labor-intensive industries will be forced to move upscale or automate facilities to sustain operations. With first-generation migrant laborers nearing retirement age, what propelled China to its status as the primary hub for low-cost production is now pushing the country out of this very position. Labor-intensive industries such as toys, footwear, caps and textile products are […]