Monday, July 2, 2012

It's a Small World After All

Over the last few weeks, I've noted the overall global slowdown (see here and here).  Today's ISM report -- which shows the first manufacturing contraction since 2009 -- highlights this trend.  Consider the following anecdotal comments:

  • "Business is still strong, with some nagging question whether it will be sustained." (Machinery)
  • "The economy and general business seem to be getting better even though recent data say otherwise." (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • "Significant raw materials price correction underway." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
  • "Local labor market shows no signs of slowing down. Competition for technical services/skilled craft remains tight." (Petroleum & Coal Products)
  • "Overall demand signals from sales forecast are trending down in all regions." (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • "Although our shipments are up year over year and from prior month, we can feel some head winds, especially from Europe. We are watching our expenses very tightly and being cautious." (Apparel, Leather & Allied Products)
  • "Business continues to exceed forecast in all markets." (Primary Metals)
  • "Economy seems to be slowing slightly due to concerns in Europe; however, production has not changed a great deal." (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Business has started to show signs of slowing." (Furniture & Related Products)
  • "Slowing world economies, particularly China, are reducing 3Q and later orders and drastically dropping some raw material prices." (Chemical Products)
The latest news from both China and the EU is not encouraging.  

In short, other economies are slowing, which is now bleeding into the US economy.