Improved American Productivity Helped Tame Unit Labor Costs

In the fourth quarter U.S. productivity increased 3.0% (ahead of consensus 2.5%), as output increased 3.5% and hours worked increased 0.5%. This followed an upwardly revised 1.4% increase (from 0.8%) in the third quarter. Productivity increasing is one way to lower inflation and a way to increase profitability, and lower unit labor costs. Unit labor costs rose 1.1% (lower than the consensus 1.5%) following a downwardly revised 2.0% (from 2.4%) in the third quarter. The Fed is keeping a sharp eye on … Continue reading “Improved American Productivity Helped Tame Unit Labor Costs”

January ISM Manufacturing PMI Lowest Since May 2020, Third Straight Month Sub-50.0%

The January ISM Manufacturing Index dropped to 47.4% (consensus 48.0%) from 48.4% in December, reflecting a general contraction in manufacturing activity. The ISM hit its lowest level since May 2020 and marks the third straight month with a sub-50.0% reading. The result was consistent with the regional Chicago PMI’s fifth consecutive month of contraction in business activity in the Chicago region. Clearly the cumulative effect of rate hikes around the globe is adversely impacting demand, evidenced by the fifth straight … Continue reading “January ISM Manufacturing PMI Lowest Since May 2020, Third Straight Month Sub-50.0%”

December ISM Manufacturing PMI Lowest Since May 2020, Second Straight Month Sub-50.0%

The December ISM Manufacturing Index dropped to 48.4% (consensus 48.5%) from 49.0% in November, reflecting a general contraction in manufacturing activity. The ISM hit its lowest level since May 2020 and marks the second straight month with a sub-50.0% reading. The result was consistent with the regional Chicago PMI’s fourth consecutive month of contraction in business activity in the Chicago region. Though it increased to 44.9 points in December the weakness is deep, recovering slightly from a 30-month low of … Continue reading “December ISM Manufacturing PMI Lowest Since May 2020, Second Straight Month Sub-50.0%”