MNI BRIEF: U.S. Manufacturing May Not Have Hit Bottom Yet -ISM
The ISM manufacturing index may have room to fall further after declining to 47.4 in January from 48.4 in December despite recent improvements in manufacturing prospects in Europe and China, Institute for Supply Management chair Timothy Fiore told reporters Wednesday.
"We've done a slow step down," he said, noting this month's third straight print below 50 indicating a contraction and January reaching a new low since May 2020. But "I don't know that we've hit the bottom yet." Still, the ISM chief remained optimistic about the manufacturing sector going into the spring and summer.
Fiore said China's reopening should prove positive for U.S. manufacturing and added that there are signs that the new orders subindex "may have turned the corner," noting a downtick in comments about soft orders from respondents relative to the prior month. The ISM survey's forward-looking new orders sub-index contracted for the fifth straight month to 42.5 in January from 45.1 in December. The prices paid by manufacturers rose to 44.5 from 39.4 in December.