Today's release of the ISM Manufacturing report for July showed a slight improvement from last month, but at a level of 49.8, today's report was weaker than expected (50.2) and below 50.
The table below highlights each of the subcomponents to the headline ISM report and compares how each currently stands relative to the last month and year. As shown below, of the ten subcomponents to the index, five increased this month and five decreased. Compared to a year ago, though, only two showed improvement (Business Inventories & Customer Inventories). Looking ahead to Friday's employment report, the employment component of today's report is still above 50, but the fact that this component declined from last month doesn't provide much hope for a big pickup in jobs this month. A better read on the employment picture would perhaps come from the employment component of the ISM Services report since that covers a larger portion of the economy, but since that report doesn't come out until 10:00 am Friday, we will not have that luxury this month. Continue reading.
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