Recovery Indicators Bounce Back
By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: November 9, 2015
The recovery indicators had a better month than last. Five of the six indicators increased and one fell below the level of the start of the recession. New orders for manufacturing and non-manufacturing were impressive in their increases, in stark contrast to government reports about September's durable goods and factory orders.
The NASDAQ recovered prior lost ground (Wall Streeters sometimes call this a “dead cat bounce” if they don't believe it's sustainable). Proprietors' income is sluggish compared to the long run rate of the economy but is still growing. Imports for manufacturers decreased, likely the sign of slowing international markets (manufacturers import materials that usually cannot be gotten elsewhere; decreased commodity prices are consistent with this trend).
The full ISM manufacturing report was not as bullish as the new orders component, at just 50.1 overall. A level of 50 is considered as 0% growth. The same report indicated a contraction in manufacturing employment. The ISM non-manufacturing report was the opposite, at 59.1.
The recovery since December 2007's recession and rebound starting in June 2009 is still well below average. Last week's durable goods orders report showed eight consecutive months of negative comparisons to the prior year, and this week's factory orders report for September continued a trend of eleven consecutive months of negative comparisons. Factory order rates have been slowing since June 2014.
As usual, the monthly jobs report will get much attention this Friday (November 6). Look for the unemployment rate to improve, possibly fall below 5%, but the internals of the labor data (participation rate, no longer in workforce, etc.) will to continue slow deterioration. Overall, real GDP long run growth is likely to continue in the +2.25% range with higher than usual recession possibilities.