Today's ISM Manufacturing report for August came in weaker than expected (49.6 vs 50.0 est) for the fourth straight month, and it was below 50 for the third straight month. The last time the ISM Manufacturing report was weaker than expected for four months in a row or longer was from August through December of 2008. At a level of 49.6, this month's level was also the lowest since August 2009.
The charts below show the current levels for the ISM Manufacturing report and each of its subcomponents, as well as their levels last month and one year ago. As shown, even though the ISM headline reading was just slightly below fifty, only three of the index's ten subcomponents managed to stay above the fifty level, which was unchanged from last month. Compared to a year ago, however, the ISM is considerably weaker. Last year at this time, only two subcomponents were below fifty, and all but one of the ten are lower now than they were then. Amidst the weakness, though, we did see an increase in the number of industries seeing overall growth and growth in new orders. Continue reading.