On the heels of weak PMIs from Europe and Asia, Markit's US Manufacturing PMI plunged to 54.2 in April (from 55.7). Against expectations of a rise to 55.6, this is the biggest miss on record. Of course, this is 'post-weather' so talking-heads will need to find another excuse as New Orders declined for the first time since Nov 2014.
Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said:
“Manufacturers saw a disappointing start to the second quarter, reporting the weakest growth since January. Key to the slowdown was a weakening of export orders, in turn a symptom of the loss of competitiveness arising from the dollar’s strength.
“However, while exporters are suffering, domestic demand looks to have remained robust, helping to sustain a reasonably strong production trend.
“While growth has clearly slowed in 2015 compared to the impressive rate seen throughout much of last year, the goods-producing sector is by no means collapsing under the weight of the strong dollar, and fears of a sharp slowdown consequently look overplayed.
“The appreciation of the dollar is meanwhile also helping to keep inflation down, with firms reporting lower import prices helping push average prices paid for raw materials down sharply again. The past two months have seen the steepest back-to-back falls in manufacturers’ input prices since 2009.”
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We're gonna need a better excuse than weather!!!