January ISM Manufacturing Index: Better, But Plenty Of Potholes In the Road Through 2020

January ISM Manufacturing Index: Better, But Plenty Of Potholes In the Road Through 2020

January ISM Manufacturing Index: Better, But Plenty Of Potholes In the Road Through 2020

February 3, 2020

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index rose to 50.9 percent in January, exceeding forecasts and jumping above the 50 percent break-even point for the first time in six months. Ten of the 18 industry groups comprising the country’s factory sector reported growth in new orders last month, with only five registering declines. Still, Regions Bank Chief Economist Richard Moody anticipates further turbulence ahead. “The manufacturing sector is by no means home free, and there are plenty of potholes in the road through 2020,” says Moody. Boeing’s production cuts, flattening auto sales and uncertainty over the impact of the corona virus on overseas manufacturing operations top his concerns. “So, welcome as January’s improvement in the ISM Manufacturing Index may be, it is not exactly an ‘all’s clear’ sign for the manufacturing sector.”

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