ISM mfr’g for Aug at 49.6 was a touch below expectations of 50 and thus remains slightly below 50 for a 3rd straight month. New Orders fell to the lowest since Apr ’09 at 47.1 from 48 in July. Backlogs dropped a 1/2 pt to 42.5. Export Orders remained below 50 for a 3rd month but rose .5 to 47. Employment fell to 51.6 from 52.0, the weakest since Nov ’09. Inventories at the mfr’g level rose 4 pts to 53 but fell slightly at the customer level to 49. Prices Paid rose 14.5 pts to 54, a 4 month high. Of the 18 industries surveyed, 8 reported growth, 8 contraction and 2 saw little change. The ISM summed up the report by saying this, “Comments from the panel generally reflect a slowdown in orders and demand, with continuing concern over the uncertain state of global economies.” The quote sums up things well as many businesses are not only dealing with a moderation in order growth, led by weakness overseas but also very little visibility on how things will turn out economically particularly in Europe and with the US election.
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