Just as we warned was historical precedent, it appears the hope and hype in 'soft' survey data is catching back down to 'hard' data's reality.
Markit's US Manufacturing PMI printed a disappinting 53.3 for March (final) - the lowest since September - as New Orders tumbled and input costs soared to 30 month highs.
ISM Manufacturing drifted lower for the first time since August, printing an inline 57.2. But the pattern was the same with New Orders dropping as Prices Paid surges
Unadjusted new orders hit their highest in over 4 years...
NOTE the chart below - ISM seems to track stocks, PMI seems more 'real'
Commenting on the final PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said:
“The post-election resurgence of the manufacturing sector seen late last year is showing signs of losing steam. Output growth slowed to a six-month low in March, optimism about the outlook has waned and hiring has slowed accordingly.
“While the survey data suggest that the goods producing sector enjoyed a relatively good first quarter on the whole, the loss of momentum seen in February and March bodes ill for the second quarter.
“The survey data have acted as a reliable advance guide to official data in the past, and in March indicate a slowing of output growth to an annualised rate of around 2%. The survey’s employment index is meanwhile consistent with official manufacturing payroll numbers falling slightly.
“If the activity numbers send a dovish signal topolicymakers, the survey’s price indices favour the hawks. Inflationary pressures have risen to a two and a half year high, despite the oil price easing during the month.”
Evidently stagflationary pressures are growing ever stronger.