Markit Manufacturing: "U.S. manufacturing operating conditions improve..."
The July US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 50.9, up 1.1 from the 49.8 final June figure.
Here is an excerpt from Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit in their latest press release:
“Although indicating the strongest expansion of the manufacturing sector since January, the IHS Markit PMI remains worryingly weak. Much of the recent improvement in output appears to be driven merely by factories restarting work rather than reflecting an upswing in demand. Growth of new orders remains lacklustre and backlogs of work continue to fall, hinting strongly at the build-up of excess capacity. Many firms and their customers remain cautious in relation to spending in the face of re-imposed lockdowns in some states and worries about further disruptions from the pandemic.
"Encouragingly, business optimism about the year ahead has revived to levels last seen in February, but many see the next few months being a struggle amid the ongoing pandemic, with a more solid-looking recovery not starting in earnest towards the end of the year or even into 2021. Further infection waves could of course derail the recovery, and many firms also cited the presidential elections as a further potential for any recovery to be dampened by heightened political uncertainty." [Press Release]
Here is a snapshot of the series since mid-2012.
Here is an overlay with the equivalent PMI survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management (see our full article on this series here).
The next chart uses a three-month moving average of the two rather volatile series to facilitate our understanding of the current trend.