Peter Boockvar writes:
The Jan ISM mfr’g # surprised to the upside at 35.6 vs forecasts of 32.5 and is up from a revised 32.9 in Dec which was the lowest since 1980. New Orders were a main contributor as it rose 10 pts from its extremely depressed reading of 23.1 in Dec. Backlogs also rose. The Employment component was unchanged at 29.9, the lowest since 1982. Exports rose 2 pts to 37.5 but from last month’s record low dating back to 1988. Prices Paid rose 11 points to 29 but from last month’s lowest level since 1949. The ISM sums it up well by saying, “while this is a significant m/o/m improvement, it is still a sign of continuing weakness in the sector. Comments from our respondents indicate that it will take a recovery in auto’s and housing for the mfr’g sector to once again prosper.” They cited as a positive the continued low level of prices paid for mfr’g inputs that should ultimately be good for the consumer.