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By New_Deal_democrat September 15, 2016 11:34 am
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The poor streak of August data continues (production and sales)
With the exception of the employment report, just about all of the August data is coming in negative.  First we had an ISM manufacturing reading under 50, although non-manufacturing did stay above 50.
 
This morning industrial production also came in negative (with a slight downward revision to July):   
 
 
Meanwhile, the Empire State and Philly Manufacturing Indexes came in mixed, with NY declining (and new orders down -7) while Philly improved (and new orders up +8.4).
 
As per my usual recent pattern, let's break out industrial production for manufacturing (red in the graph below, left scale) vs. mining (blue, right scale):
 
 
The good news is that mining -- hard hit by the energy prices declines that began in late 2014) continue to improve off their bottom.  Further, while manufacturing has essentially stayed in the same range for the last nine months, it still appears that it bottomed in March and has been improving since, even with August's downturn.
 
Retail sales were also slightly negative:
 
 
When we broaden the scope to total business sales (retail plus wholesale plus manufacturing), sales (red, right scale in the graph below) declined slightly, but so did inventories (blue, left scale):
 
 
with the result that the inventory to sales ratio remained unchanged, and below its recent peak:
 
 
The bottom line is that August shapes up to have been a poor month, but the improving trend from the bottom of the shallow industrial recession remains intact.
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