Saturday, July 31, 2010

Goldman Sachs (GS) Projects Material Weakening in July's ISM Reports

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It will be interesting to see if Goldman Sachs nails this one.  Outside of the monthly employment reports, the ISM reports (Manufacturing and Services) have served to become the most important reports on domestic economic activity.  As I've written many times the market still seems to focus much more on ISM Manufacturing as if we are still living in 1977 (Mfg is now only 13% of US economic output and 9% of employment) whereas I focus much more on ISM Services, as services is the dominant 'output' in the new paradigm US economy.   Ironically even as the country de-emphasizes manufacturing, due to Asian demand and inventory restocking the manufacturing figures have been the much stronger of the two the past 15 months, with the service data really only kicking it into gear the past 3-4 months.

While Asia is still rolling, much of the inventory restocking looks to be completing, hence new inventory build is going to focus much more on end demand.  Which ex-Asia is not exactly booming.  ISM Manufacturing is released Monday 10 AM, and Services Wednesday 10 AM.  Outside of the Chinese ISM which will be released Sunday night, these should be the big market moving events of the week until Friday's employment report.  Whatever happens, it is like buying ahead of an earnings report - bipolar risk and just pure gambling to try to guess which way it goes.  Let's see if Goldman's proprietary outlook is accurate; if so it could portend a rough week.

(please note any figure over 50 is still expansionary but to truly add to job growth we need to be churning far above 50)

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From BusinessInsider

The next U.S. ISM manufacturing and services reports, to be released by the Institute for Supply Management this Monday, could be pretty ugly, says Goldman.
How do they know? They've built their own 'GSAI' indicator that shares much of the same data that goes into the ISM release, and thus provides a potential early warning:
Goldman's Jan Hatzius:
The Goldman Sachs Analyst Index fell 6.1 points to 55.4 in July, indicating less widespread economic growth than in JuneThis decline is consistent with recent weakness in other recent economic indicators. The GSAI now stands at its lowest level since November 2009.
...
Most of the movement in the GSAI this month is attributed to significant declines in the sales and new orders indices, which fell 12.3 and 9.7 points respectively. The new orders index is now at its lowest level since July of last year. In this context, July’s slight increase in the inventories index may not be a good sign as it suggests production may have moved ahead of demand at a time when orders may be flagging. The gap between the new orders and inventories indices, which provides a rough leading guide to future strength in industrial output in ISM-style surveys, is the narrowest it has been since May of 2009.
Chart
The only reminder here is that their indicator remains in growth territory, indicating continued economic expansion, but just of a far slower nature.



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