Economy Gets Bad Press Again
The bad news about the manufacturing sector slowdown is widely sensationalized in the financial press. With the exception of The New York Times, the media coverage of the slump in manufacturing neglected to report the fact that only 11% of the U.S. gross domestic product is derived from manufacturing activity. Without that context, the press would have you think a recession is right around the corner when it's not.
Since September 2018, manufacturing activity plunged from a record-high of 61.3%. Last week's manufacturing activity report showed further deterioration, from 51.2% in July to 49.1% in August, and the press covered it widely.
This monthly manufacturing data series from the Institute of Supply Management, which certifies purchasing management professionals employed across the U.S. and globally, is designed to signal a recession when it falls to less than 50%. In the last three decades, it has predicted six of the last three recessions.
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