#493. A Little Good News, A Little Not So Good News

Posted on | The Agurban

A Little Good News, A Little Not-So-Good News

We receive dozens of newsletters, e-zines, articles, and updates every month that pertain to the manufacturing industry and the U.S. economy as a whole.  This week’s Agurban pulls information from three sources: Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein with First Trust Economic (www.ftportfolios.com); Bradley J. Holcomb, with the Institute for Supply Management (www.manufacturing.net); and Alan Tonelson with the Wall Street Examiner. (www.wallstreetexaminer.com)  Below are some key points –

–          The trade deficit in goods and services came in at $44.4 billion in May, smaller than the consensus expected $45.0 billion

–          Exports increased by $2.0 billion in May, led by petroleum products, autos, and gem diamonds. Imports declined $0.7 billion, led by crude oil and cellphones, and other household goods.

–          Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June for the 13th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 61st consecutive month.

–          …PMI  (Purchasing Managers Index) registered 55.3 percent, a slight increase of 0.1 percentage point when compared to May’s reading of 55.4 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicated that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

–          June’s 16,000 manufacturing jobs gain was the best monthly performance since February’s 20,000. In addition, the May employment improvement was revised up from 10,000 to 11,000, and the April rise from 4,000 to 8,000.

–          Manufacturing’s share of total nonfarm employment dipped from an upwardly revised 8.74 percent in May to a new record low of 8.73 percent.

–          Manufacturing’s job gains since its recessionary employment bottom in February 2010, have totaled 668,000 – 29.13 percent of the jobs it lost from the recession’s December 2007 onset through that date.

–          By contrast, total growth in nonfarm jobs during that period has been 9.125 million – nearly 13.7 times greater. And the overall employment in the overall economy is now 0.35 percent higher than when the recession began.

–          Manufacturing’s year-on-year jobs growth continued accelerating in June – to 130,000 from the 79,000 improvement in January. Yet, through June, manufacturing’s average year-on-year monthly job gain has still only been 96,670 – lower than the 109,400 level for 2013 and less than half of 2012’s 215,600 level.

–          The rise in manufacturing hiring continues to be clouded by the sector’s poor wage performance. Since the current recovery technically began in June 2009 through May (latest available data), total private sector hourly pay has edged won by 0.19 percent when adjusted for inflation. Real manufacturing wages have decreased by 2.71 percent during this period, and fell month-on-month and year-on-year in May.

As we move forward, we will continue to monitor these indices and numerous others.