US Manufacturing Plunges To 7 Year Lows As PMI "Dashes Hope That Q1 Weakness Was Temporary"

Following Japan's record low PMI, Europe's modest pick-up, and China's bounce, this week's Philly Fed crash was more indicative as US Manufacturing (flash) PMI printed 50.8 (from 51.5 in March and notably missing 52.0 expectations). This is the lowest print since September 2009 with New Orders sliding (weakest since Dec 2015), and Employment at its weakest since June 2013. As Markit notes, "US factories reported their worst month for just over six-and-a-half years in April, dashing hopes that first quarter weakness will prove temporary."

Not pretty - but probably transitory, right?


Hmm, but everyone says the labor market is great?


Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said:

“US factories reported their worst month for just over six-and-a-half years in April, dashing hopes that first quarter weakness will prove temporary.

 

Survey measures of output and order book backlogs are down to their lowest since the height of the global financial crisis, prompting employers to cut back on their hiring.

 

“The survey data are broadly consistent with manufacturing output falling at an annualized rate of over 2% at the start of the second quarter, and factory employment dropping at a rate of 10,000 jobs per month.

 

“With prior months’ survey data pointing to annualized GDP growth of just 0.7% in the first quarter, the deteriorating performance of manufacturing suggests that growth could weaken closer towards stagnation in the second quarter.

 

“The survey responses reveal an increase in business uncertainty in relation to both the economic and political outlook during the month, which is weighing on spending and investment decisions and exacerbating already-weak demand both at home and abroad.” 

But apart from that, everything is awesome - it must be, because stocks are within reach of all-time highs?

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