ISM Manufacturing Continues to Flash Contraction

Source: Economics Group of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.Summary The ISM manufacturing index continues to flash contraction. Despite weaker activity, low demand and an increase in input prices, manufacturers report holding onto workers a bit tighter amid expectations of an improvement in conditions later this year. Manufacturing in Contraction for Fourth Straight Month The ISM manufacturing index continues to paint the picture that manufacturing is in correction. While the overall index rose modestly to 47.7 from 47.4, February marked the fourth consecutive month in which the ISM is below the breakeven point of 50 designating expansion from contraction (chart). In perusing through the selected industry comments from respondents however, the tone is less dire. The ISM still demonstrates a majority of respondents seeing a decline in production and new demand, but while activity appears to be slowing, there remains hope that there will be an improvement in conditions in the second half of the year, and that is impacting hiring decisions. READ FULL ARTICLE>>