Another ugly manufacturing data
Head of Macro Analysis
Summary: The US ISM manufacturing big miss is a worrying signal for the economy, but the only data that really matters for Q3 GDP will be the upcoming non-manufacturing ISM on Thursday.
The latest manufacturing ISM for September is out. There is only one word coming to my mind to describe it: UGLY. The headline index did not rebound, as expected by the market, but it felt further into contraction, at 47.8, which is the lowest level since 2009. It is moving way below its long-term historical mean of 52.9. All the major sub-components are oriented south. New orders, production, imports, exports and employment are all contracting.
Given the figures released for August and September, US industrial recession is likely to materialize in coming months. It is the reflection of a very depressed global manufacturing outlook, but also of a sharp decrease of new exports orders due to the strength of the USD, and a big drop of Boeing’s deliveries.
That being said, it is obviously a worrying signal for the US economy, but it should not be overstated in its significance. It should be reminded to everyone that the ISM manufacturing is a coincident indicator and it does not track so well GDP growth.
The only data that really matters for Q3 GDP will be the non-manufacturing ISM on Thursday. As household consumption represents about 70% of the US economy, it is clearly a much better gauge to assess the real state of economic activity. It will also provide a first answer to one of the most important questions that clients and traders are asking: Is manufacturing weakness spilling over into services? If the answer is yes, then consider a 25bps rate cut is a done deal in December, and at least another rate cut is highly likely in Q1 2020. In this context, it would be extremely complicated for the Fed to keep talking about “insurance cut”.
Latest Market Insights
Outrageous Predictions 2023: The War Economy
- The constantly growing global need for energy drives the world's richest to huddle up and launch a R&D project in a size the world hasn't seen since the Manhattan Project gave the US the first atomic bomb.
French President Macron resignsThe political stalemate in France and the rise of Marie Le Pen following the 2022 elections corners President Macron, forcing him to give up on politics and resign from his position. At least for now.
Gold rockets to USD 3,000 as central banks fail on inflation mandateAs markets and central banks realise that the idea that inflation is transitory is wrong, and that prices will remain higher for longer, gold is sent through the roof, hitting a price tag of USD 3,000
EU Army forces EU down path to full unionWith continued challenges in the region and a US military that isn't aggressively enacting its former role as global policeman, the European Union agrees to create its own armed forces, bringing the whole region closer.
A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030In an effort to become one of the global leaders on the path to net-zero emissions, one country decides to not only put a heavy tax on meat, but to ban domestic production entirely.
UK holds UnBrexit referendumFollowing a recession and domestic pressure, the United Kingdom is thrown into political turmoil that will end with a vote to wind back Brexit.
Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflationHistory tells us that with the war economy comes rationing and price controls. And this time is no different, as policymakers introduce strict price controls that lead to a range of unintended consequences.
OPEC+ & Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve assetSanctions against Russia have caused widespread turmoil due to US Dollar moves in countries across the globe that don't consider the US an ally. To relieve themselves from this, they leave the IMF and create a new reserve asset.
USDJPY fixed to the USD at 200 as Japan overhauls financial systemFollowing the challenges that faced the Japanese Yen in 2022, the Bank of Japan attempts to keep the currency from sliding. Unsuccessful on the long-term, Japan will launch a reset of its entire financial system.
Tax haven ban kills private equityWith the war economy comes an increased focus on national interests and sovereign nations' ability to assert themselves. In that regard, the OECD countries turn their attention on tax havens and pull the big guns out, banning them altogether.