US Manufacturing PMI Soars in February

U.S. manufacturing registered a PMI of 60.8 percent for February according to the latest ISM® Report On Business® to reach the highest figure since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Manufacturing performed well for the ninth straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering strong growth compared to January,” says Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM® Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Labor-market difficulties at panelists’ companies and their suppliers continued to restrict manufacturing-economy expansion and will remain the primary headwind to production growth until employment levels and factory operations can return to normal across the entire supply chain.”

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Italy and India Show Manufacturing Growth in January

Supply Chain Issues and Labor Shortages Present Challenges

Manufacturing in India showed strength with a reported 57.7 PMI from Markit Economics, which represented a fourth straight month of improvement. Italy had a second straight month of growth and a big uptick to a reported PMI of 55.1 percent after registering 52.8 in December. That represents Italy’s highest level since February 2018.

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Summary of the EU-UK Brexit Agreement

The European Commission reached an agreement on December 24, 2020, with the United Kingdom on the terms of its future cooperation with the European Union.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen says, “It was worth fighting for this deal because we now have a fair and balanced agreement with the UK, which will protect our European interests, ensure fair competition, and provide much-needed predictability for our fishing communities. Finally, we can leave Brexit behind us and look to the future. Europe is now moving on.”

The European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, says, “We have now come to the end of a very intensive four-year period, particularly over the past nine months, during which we negotiated the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU and a brand new partnership, which we have finally agreed today. The protection of our interests has been front and center throughout these negotiations and I am pleased that we have managed to do so. It is now for the European Parliament and the Council to have their say on this agreement.”

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US PMI Drives Higher in December

The Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) reported a December PMI® of 60.7 percent for US manufacturing, up 3.2 percentage points from the November reading of 57.5 percent. That figure was the highest since August of 2018 and also indicates expansion in the overall economy for the eighth month in a row after contracting in March, April, and May.

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Trump Questions $900B US Stimulus Package

When the US Congress passed an emergency stimulus package of $900 billion for COVID-19 related relief to US citizens and businesses on Monday, it was widely accepted that US President Donald Trump would sign the bill into law. However, last night Trump put that into question with comments in a video posted to Twitter saying, “The bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill.”

Although the President’s comments make the prospects for the bill unclear, here are some of the highlights from the ABMA’s summary of the legislation:

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Global Manufacturing Cools Off in November

After surging to two-year highs in October, the US and Eurozone manufacturing numbers for November dipped slightly with Germany and Italy also following the pattern. China was the exception as the Caixin PMI registered 54.9 to hit a new series high. 

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US Manufacturing Surge for October

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in October, with the overall US economy notching a sixth consecutive month of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

ISM reported a US manufacturing PMI of 59.3 percent, up 3.9 percentage points from the September reading of 55.4 percent and the highest since September 2018 (59.3 percent). The figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the sixth month in a row after a contraction in April, which ended a period of 131 consecutive months of growth.

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US Unemployment Claims Jump to 898,000

According to this morning’s US Department of Labor report, states saw an additional 898,000 Americans file first-time unemployment insurance claims last week. That represents an increase of 53,000 from the previous week. The increase broke a four-week trend of decreases for the number of new claims.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending October 3 were in Florida (+9,933), Illinois (+6,877), Massachusetts (+4,021), North Carolina (+2,907), and Maryland (+1,714), while the largest decreases were in New Jersey (-3,504), Kansas (-3,312), Pennsylvania (-3,111), Louisiana (-2,835), and Washington (-2,474). 

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