Last week’s gloomy manufacturing report from the Institute of Supply Management sent ripples of anxiety through the financial markets. But these reactions would feel more appropriate in the old days, when purchasing managers’ reports were seen as important signals of economic health. Today’s stalled industrial sector is most likely the result of weak activity in the energy sector and Boeing’s slowed 737 MAX 8 production. In other words, weak industrial trends are worth keeping an eye on, but they aren’t the whole economy.
October 8, 2019