Jan ISM manufacturing was almost 3 pts above estimates at 58.4 and follows strength today in the manufacturing data in China, India, Australia, Taiwan, the UK and the Euro zone. It’s now at the highest level since Aug ’04 and up from 54.9 in Dec but measures the direction of change, not the degree. New Orders rose 1.1 pts with Backlogs up 6 to 56. Employment rose 3 pts to 53.3 and is now above 50 for the 3rd month in the last 4 at the highest since Apr ’06. Inventories rose 3.5 pts but remain below 50 at 46.5 while Customer Inventories fell 3 pts to 32, the lowest since at least ’97 when this # was included. Export Orders rose 4 pts to the highest since June ’08. Prices Paid rose by 8.5 pts to 70, the most since Aug ’08. The ISM said “13 of 18 industries reported growth, up from 9 last month, and this is a good indication that the impact of the recovery is expanding.” This data confirms the Manufacturing/inventory build thesis in helping GDP.
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