PMI Manufacturing and ISM Manufacturing Show Growth and Mixed Reads on Inflation

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While most economic reports have come in with mixed readings lately, the common theme seems to be moderate growth but with inflationary pressure that is much less than what the Federal Reserve has targeted in its quest to seek higher interest rates and a normalized balance sheet.

Fresh views for July have been released by Markit with its PMI Manufacturing Index and also from the manufacturing report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). These show moderate growth, and there is actually a mixed bag when it comes to what may bring inflation down the road.

The PMI Manufacturing Index for the month of July showed a reading of 53.3. This was marginally higher than the 53.2 consensus estimate from Bloomberg, but it was more than a point higher than the 52.0 reading released for June.

This is a report of moderate growth in the PMI, but a slight rebound in new orders — but again with a lack of inflationary pressures. New orders also picked up, after hitting a 2017 low in June, and hiring was up as well.

The ISM Manufacturing report for July came in at 56.3. That compares with a Bloomberg consensus estimate of 56.2. While this report sounds a tad stronger than Markit’s report, the ISM Manufacturing index was higher in June with a reading of 57.8.

New orders rose in the ISM report, as did the backlog of orders. Exports were also above the trending averages and production was up above trend, but inventories were flat and delivery times were moderately lower.

While the economy has struggled to find inflation in most readings, the ISM did note that July’s input prices for manufacturers rose by seven full points to 62.0.

A fresh report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed subdued inflation in personal income and spending ahead of what is expected to be a slower payroll growth report in this coming Friday’s key unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last week’s economic reporting was much more indicative of slower inflationary readings as well, all of which can add up for trouble in Fed Chair Yellen’s quest to raise interest rates.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is on the quest to reach 22,000 — it was up 64 points at 21,955 shortly after Tuesday’s economic reports hit the tape. The S&P 500 Index was last seen up by three points at 2,473. The 10-year Treasury yield remains stubbornly under 2.30%, at 2.28%.