Manufacturing activity in the Midwest is back in contraction.
The Chicago purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for September was reported at 48.7 by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
This was the fifth time this year that the index fell below 50, the border between expansion and contraction.
Economists had estimated a print of 53, down from 54.4 in August.
According to the report, production fell to its lowest level since July 2009, following “downgrades to global economic growth and intense volatility in financial markets.”
Overall US manufacturing growth has slowed this year. Other major regional surveys, including those from the New York Fed and the Philadelphia Fed, were weak this month.
In a note to clients, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson wrote: “Thebigger picture, of a manufacturing sector stressed by thestrong dollar, slower growth in emerging markets and the rollover in capex in the oil sector, also is consistent with weak industrial surveys.”
Shepherdson noted that manufacturing made up only 12% of gross domestic product, and so the regional manufacturing surveys should not be given more weight than they are due.
“Very soft regional PMI releases point to a 49 reading for the tomorrow’s manufacturing ISM, which would be first sub-50 print since 2012,” tweeted Deutsche Bank’s chief US economist, Joseph LaVorgna.
- MNI Indicators
“While activity between Q2 and Q3 actually picked up, the scale of the downturn in September following the recent global financial fallout is concerning,” Philip Uglow, chief economist of MNI Indicators, said in the release. “We await the October data to better judge whether this was a knee jerk reaction and there is a bounce back, or whether it represents a more fundamental slowdown.”
The report also noted that the Prices Paid gauge fell to the lowest level in seven years, while employment rose for the third straight month.