This week’s economic data was tragic-comic amidst lots of geo-political drama:
🎭Measurement for Measurement: In September, the ISM Manufacturing Index increased to 49.0, indicating the eleventh consecutive month of contraction in the US factory sector, though at a slightly slower pace. Only five of eighteen industries saw growth, with survey respondents citing concerns about recession, sluggish demand, and pressure to be more cost-competitive from customers.
🎭The (Still) Merry Merchants of the US: Conversely, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index declined to 53.6 in September, showing continued expansion in the service sector, narrowly surpassing expectations. Thirteen of eighteen major industries reported growth.
🎭 Labor’s Love Lost: Regarding employment, nonfarm payrolls increased by 336,000 in September, surpassing the consensus expectation of 170,000. The job gains were widespread, led by increases in leisure and hospitality, as well as healthcare and social assistance. This positive data is bad news for Fed watchers. This intense labor market performance raised the likelihood of an additional rate hike and suggested that the Federal Reserve keep short-term interest rates at current levels for a longer duration, possibly extending into 2024.
Patrick Huey is a small business owner and the author of two books on history and finance as well as the highly-rated recently-released fictional work Hell: A Novel. As owner of Victory Independent Planning, LLC, Patrick works with families and non-profit organizations. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and an Accredited Tax Preparer. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University.