US Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for US Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized! 

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

24th Nov 2023

S&P Global US PMI

Key takeaway: The latest flash PMI estimate from S&P Global for November 2023, once again, did not show much of a change from the last month. PMIs have mostly plateaued in the recent months. Firstly, Manufacturing, which was generally in a declining trend through most of 2022, stabilized in the past 6 months or so. Even though most PMI’s (including the S&P) suggests that manufacturing remains in a contractionary territory below 50, it hs stabilized at this low level nonetheless and has not been falling further. Similarly, the Services PMI even though lower compared to most of 2022 and 2022 has also mostly plateaued. However, even though there wasnt much movement in the headline PMIs this month, there were a couple of key points to take note of. The most important being the fall in employment indicated in the PMIs. Generally in a economic cycle, manufacturing starts to show signs of declining employment fist, followed by the Services sector. The latest PMI report showed that US companies lowered their workforce during November for the first time in almost 3.5 years. Dwindling levels of unfinished business impacted hiring decisions at companies as backlogs of work fell for the 7th month running. The second key point to note was that even though input prices pressures continued to abate, businesses raised their selling prices at a quicker pace. This might be a one-off reading. But if the trend continued this might result in a re-acceleration of inflation.   

24th Oct 2023

Key takeaway: The latest flash PMI estimate from S&P Global for October 2023 did not show much of a change from the last month. The Composite Output Index, Business Activity Index and Manufacturing Output Index, all moved up a bit compared to September. The Manufacturing PMI also moved up a bit and at 50.0 was no longer in contractionary territory. Overall not a large or meaningful change in the headline numbers. However, there were a few details to take note of. The slight upturn seems to be more supported by manufacturing than services. The Manufacturing sector seems to have found a bottom or at least stabilized over the past few months. Other PMI statistics have also indicated the same. New business at service sector continued to soften – though has not yet reached alarming levels. On the other hand, foreign client demand has continued to remain very weak – highlighting the difference between the US economy and the rest of the world – attributable in part to a strong dollar. The other key point to note was that input prices which had registered a renewed uptick in the last couple of months, given the rise in energy and commodity costs, also cooled a bit in October. Once again the notable point here was that the uptick in input prices was sharpest in manufacturing compared to services. On the whole, in comparison to 2021 and 2022, companies are not choosing to pass on the entire cost burden to customers. The reasons can be attributed to a soft demand scenario and companies choosing to drive sales over increasing prices. Either ways, this is beneficial for inflation data but detrimental to corporate profits.  

22nd Sep 2023

Key takeaway: The US PMI Composite output fell for the fourth month in a row, although the fall was marginal (from 50.2 in August to 50.1 in September). However, the more important point to note is that Services, which had been the flag bearer for growth, has generally been diminishing over the past few months. PMI trends in the Services sector are starting to indicate a deepening softening in the economy. New Orders fell at the strongest pace since the start of 2023 primarily driven by a slowdown in new business in the Services sector. Manufacturing also saw a drop in new sales, although at a slightly lower pace. Overall Manufacturing PMI recorded 48.9 in September and hence continues to be in contraction territory, although the pace of contraction seems to have levelled out over the past couple of months. Input prices are on the upswing and that was evidenced in the September PMI data as well. However, the key difference compared to 2021 and 2022 is that customer demand in softening and that limits businesses’ ability to transfer price increases to customers. Softening demand might lead to lower downstream inflation. But rising input costs at the same time can lead to margin compression for US businesses.   

23rd Aug 2023

Key takeaway: The flash S&P Composite PMI Output Index fell to 50.4 in August from 52.0 in July. This marks the 3rd month in a row of decreasing Composite Output PMI. And the latest print sits close to the contractionary 50 mark! The story thus far had been of resilience in the Services sector and prolonged weakness in the Manufacturing sector. The latest August PMI print was especially key since this was the first time since February that US firms noted a decrease in the important New Orders metric. Softening demand is starting to weigh on the Services sector more now than the last year or so. On the other hand Manufacturers continue to face challenges as before with new orders decreasing at a more rapid pace. The decline in new orders sets up for a decrease in output in late 3Q and early 4Q. The Atlanta GDP Now tracker still forecasts US 3Q GDP growth to be 5.8%. It will be key to see how this number changes as we get closer to quarter close. What makes this scenario more precarious, is that coupled with a slowdown in activity, input costs have been on the rise again due to a general increase in energy and raw material costs. Softening demand might lead to lower inflation. But rising input costs at the same time can lead to margin compression for US businesses.   

24th Jul 2023

Key takeaway: The flash S&P Composite PMI Index fell to 52.0 in July from 53.2 in June. Now there are 2 ways to interpret this. First, it is a reading that still indicates expansion (above 50). This shows a further rise in business activity in the US led by the Services sector. On the other hand, it can also be read as a continuing slowdown for a second month in a row (June Composite PMI had declined to 53.2 from 54.3 in May). New Orders rose further in July, but the rate of expansion slowed for a 2nd month in a row again. Manufacturing PMI improved a bit – from 46.3 in June to 49.0 in July. However, this is the 3rd month in a row of negative manufacturing PMI prints. The June Services PMI report had indicated that while input prices remain high, companies chose to remain competitive and drive sales which led to a slower uptick in output prices in June. This trend reversed a bit in July and output price inflation gained steam once again.  

23rd Jun 2023

Key takeaway: After 5 consecutive months of robust PMI prints, June caught a breather. Headline flash Composite PMI for June registered 53.0, down from 54.3 in May. As a refresher of events over the past 5 months – PMIs had turned a corner and began an upswing from the start of 2023. A lot of that upswing was indeed driven by the Services sector. But Manufacturing PMI’s had also staged a small upswing. That trend was broken with the June number. The key question is whether this is a turning point to a downward draft similar to January’s pivot to an upswing. New Orders continued to rise in Services although the pace was slower compared to the start of the year. On the other hand, new orders in manufacturing contracted at the fastest pace since Dec 2022. Also, in a key development, the latest Services PMI report indicated that while input prices remain high, companies chose to remain competitive and drive sales which led to a slower uptick in output prices in June. While this is a positive development from an inflation perspective, it might spell bad news for corporate profits through the rest of the year.  

23 May 2023

Key takeaway: The headline flash Composite PMI for May registered 54.5, up from 53.4 in April and beating expectations of 50.0. This continues a solid trend of strong PMIs coming out of the US since the start of the year. Similar to the past 4 months, the strength is being driven by the Services sector (where PMI for May rose to 55.1 from 53.6 in April. The rate of growth in activity of services companies was the highest in a year! Stronger demand conditions from customers led to further new orders – which grew at the fastest pace since April 2022. Employment also rose at a faster pace at Services companies. And most importantly, Services companies remain optimistic for the rest of the year. Which begs the question – “Where is the Recession?!!”. Manufacturing, which had also been in a mini uptrend during the start of 2023, registered some moderation in activity and outlook according to the flash PMI in May. The US Manufacturing PMI reduced to 48.5 (back in contraction territory) from 50.2 in April. While output at manufacturing firms increased in May, the overall PMI and most other indicators declined on a month on month basis. This manufacturing PMI data is also best viewed together with the Regional Fed PMIs. Two recent manufacturing surveys, the NY Fed and the Richmond Fed, both have reported sizeable declines in manufacturing activity. The last point to consider about the latest S&P composite PMI release is that the overall price pressures (both input and output charges) remain fairly high by historical standards – which is a good indicator of further prices pressures on the CPI and the stickiness of higher prices in the economy.  

21st Apr 2023

Key takeaway: When PMIs (both S&P and ISM) had churned positive surprises at the start of the year, many market participants had attributed that to un-seasonally mild weather. However, with 4 consecutive months of fairly positive PMI data, that narrative is firmly out of the window. For the 4th month in a row the S&P US Composite Output Index has increased showing a resilient economy. Output increased at the sharpest pace since May 2022. A large part of the momentum is being driven by the Services Sector. New orders in Services grew for a 2nd month in a row. On the other hand export orders continue to be soft – indicating a weaker global economy (a trend that has been prevalent for the past year). However, one of the more notable aspects to note in the past couple of PMI releases, has been the strength in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing PMI was in expansionary territory (above 50) for the first time since Nov 2022. Even though the upturn is nominal, the trend has been upwards since the start of the year. Both output and employment grew in the manufacturing sector in April and new orders recorded a rise as well. However, the flip side of all this positive momentum in the services and manufacturing sector can be seen in the input and output price indexes in the PMIs. April data indicated a pick up in the rates of input cost and output charge inflation. Employment creation also seems to be accelerating. Both of these developments are negative from an inflation perspective.   

24th Mar 2023

Key takeaway: With the release of the preliminary reading for the S&P Global PMI for March, the narrative that the robust readings seen across PMIs in January was only because of good weather, takes a hard beating. The Mar PMI signals that US companies are showing a solid renewal in business expansion. Output has grown at the fastest pace since May 2022. New orders which were mostly in contractionary territory in 2H 2022 returned back to growth. A large part of the strength in new orders was evidently in the services sector. However, even the manufacturing sector recorded an improvement in business activity – though still in contractionary territory. On the other hand overall new export orders contracted for the 10th successive month highlighting the difference between the US economy and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, prices sub indexes have been also increasing since the past couple of months and that is disconcerting from an inflation perspective. Stronger demand conditions also resulted in faster employment growth in March. All of these factors cumulatively point to a still robust economy, price pressures and a tight labour market.  

21st Feb 2023

Key takeaway: Recall that the S&P Global Composite PMI had been in contractionary territory for most of 2H 2022. However, there was a mild uptick in the PMI data in January. That trend continued in February with the Composite PMI reading improving from 46.8 to 50.2. Given the recent positive surprise readings on the ISM PMI as well, it is reasonable to believe there has been an improvement in business activity in the US in the recent couple of months. Unfortunately, that spells bad news from a rate hiking perspective. Although new orders continued to contract in February, the pace of decline was the slowest since October 2022. A similar slower decline in growth was seen in export orders as well. The Feb PMI data also showed a sharper rise in output charges across the private sector i.e. selling prices were increasing and at a faster rate! Employment also remained buoyant in Feb. All of these factors cumulatively point to a still robust economy, price pressures and a tight labour market.  

24th Jan 2023

Key takeaway: The S&P Global Composite PMI has been in contractionary territory since the last 6 months and continued to be in contraction territory in January as well. But, as with many other indicators, what matters to financial markets is the direction of data and the rate of change. On this front, the January PMIs can actually be read as favourable even though they were in contraction territory. The fall in business activity slowed to the slowest in 3 months. Similarly, new orders declined for the 4th consecutive month, but again the fall was modest and was slower than the pace of decline of the past 3 months. On the balance, the data exceeded consensus expectations. However, one of the most important points to note in this latest PMI data was the surprise increase in input prices – which increased after decelerating for the past 7 months. While a month certainly does not make a trend, it is certain that the Fed staff will take note of this development! The rise in input costs also resulted in an uptick in selling prices – as indicated in the data. Lastly, the data also recorded a marginal rise in employment which was primarily driven by the service sector.  

16th Dec 2022

Key takeaway: The S&P Global Composite PMI has been in contractionary territory since the last 5 months. However, the pace of its downward trend is unmistakably accelerating. December saw further contraction in business activity from November (Reading at 44.6 from 46.4). Most importantly, new orders fell even more sharply across the private sector. Backlogs of work declined for the third straight month in December. On the employment front, while hiring had started to slow down notably in the last 6 months, the incidences of layoffs have started to become little more prominent now. Although still far from substantial – which can also be seen in the relatively subdued figures of Initial Claims. PMIs are one of the best leading indicators of the economy. And increasingly data suggests that the Fed’s rate hikes are having its desired effects and business activity is slowing substantially. On the other side, it is also aiding a quicker fall in price pressures and easing of supply chains  

23rd Nov 2022

Key takeaway: PMIs are one of the best leading indicators of the economy. The S&P US PMI has been trending down since the high of mid 2021. After a couple of months of fairly optimistic PMI readings, the indicator has picked up pace once again to the downside. November saw a significant contraction in business activity across the private sector. The fall in activity was the second fastest since May 2020. More importantly, new orders fell also at the fastest pace since May 2020. The pace of decline in new export orders also picked up pace. The sharp falls in new orders and new export orders led to a reduction in outstanding business / business backlogs. While we still have not started seeing broad based layoffs, the PMIs have started indicating a meaningful reduction in hiring. Arguably businesses are still resorting to “labour hoarding” because the labour market still remains relatively tight as well as the recency bias from businesses struggling to hire throughout 2021 and 2022. Amongst all the negative news in the PMIs, one of the most important positive developments has been easing of supply chains and deliveries. However, the jury is still out on whether the improvement in deliveries is due to improving bottlenecks or reducing demand!  

24th Oct 2022

Key takeaway: There were a number of points to note in this PMI report. First – S&P Global PMIs generally have been reflecting a deeper downturn than its peer the ISM PMIs. Recollect that September S&P PMI data broke with this earlier trend and reflected a relatively upbeat economy similar to ISM. October, is however, back to trend reflecting a deeper down drift. Second – While overall PMI is weaker, Manufacturing PMI is specifically in contraction territory for the first time since Covid 2020. Third – the all important New Orders have returned to contraction in October. And last – input price growth has actually scaled up a bit once again. Bad news from the inflation perspective. However, the mitigating factor is that this price is getting passed on the consumers to a lesser degree. Yet, with the recent rise in oil prices, it does not augur well to see a upward shift in input price growth in services and manufacturing PMIs.       

23rd Sep 2022

Key takeaway: After breaking with the trends observed in the ISM PMIs for the last few months, the September S&P PMI release was a little bit more in line with ISM. The index still showed a decline in overall output continuing the trend that started 2 months back. But the rate of decline was much softer (Composite Index is up from 44.5 to 49.3). Another major positive was that new orders were in expansion territory again. Input costs continue to grow, but the rate of increase continues to fall in line with recent trends (positive for future inflation). And employment still seems fairly healthy – which still points to a tight labor market.     

23rd Aug 2022

Key takeaway: The headline point to note is with the latest PMI reading, we have recorded 2 consecutive months of contractionary readings (i.e. below 50). There is no doubt that PMIs are trending lower and indicating lower economic activity. But the devil, once again, is in the details. New order / new export orders fell again. Firms are scaling back hiring and employment at the slowest pace since the start of the year. Backlogs of work, which were a key driver of activity, are drying up as final demand is softening. Lastly one of the most important points to note was also the drop in new orders in the Services segment (which a few months back was mostly only being seen on the manufacturing side).     

22nd Jul 2022

Key takeaway: It is worth looking at the past 2 year history to put the June 2022 PMI reading into context. US manufacturing and services activity went through a robust expansion throughout 2021. In the early months of 2022, manufacturing and services continued to expand, but there were visible signs of slowdown in demand. Starting 2Q 2022, we saw notable drops in new orders but the overall indexes were still in expansion territory. Finally now, overall index readings in both manufacturing and services are in contractionary territory. New orders / export orders continue to weaken. Similarly, the rate of job creation has slowed down, in part due to cost cutting initiatives – especially by manufacturing firms. The only silver lining is that the rate of input inflation as well as selling prices have started to slow down, though it remains high historically.    

23rd Jun 2022

Key takeaway: The latest PMI numbers are important for a bunch of reasons. Recall that the trend of weakening data in PMI has been noticeable since Feb / March 2022 (though it was still expansionary). That weakening trend continued. But with some alarming more developments. New orders, which had been resilient even in the past 4 months, contracted for the first time since July 2020. New export orders, an indication of overseas demand, contracted as well. Moreover, cost of inputs and labor continued their upward march which will continue to squeeze business margins. The silver lining though was that the pace of increase of costs slowed down. Lastly, and very importantly, the manufacturing output index fell below 50 indicating a contraction in manufacturing output.   

24th May 2022

Key takeaway: The trend of weaker data in PMI continued from March to April to May. There are still a few key points to note from the May PMI release. First, new orders and new business continues to grow in the manufacturing and services industries. Remember the PMI is a diffusion index. So, readings above 50 still indicate an expansion and not a contraction. Second, input prices continue to soar – both in manufacturing and services. Third, employment levels and labour costs continue to increase. In summary, while PMI surveys indicate economic expansion, demand is visibly slowing with no let up of input costs or labour inflation.  

22nd Apr 2022

Key takeaway: Overall April PMI data was weaker than March. However, both Feb and March numbers had been significantly strong post an Omicron led weak January. The most important point to note in the April release was the continuation of increase in new orders which shows business strength. The data is still far from evidencing any meaningful slowdown in consumption demand.   

24th Mar 2022

Key takeaway: PMI data in January 2022 had come out weak. But the assessment at that time was that it was Omicron related. Feb 22 activity numbers confirmed that view. Now March numbers have reinforced it. Private sector activity and output remained significantly strong in March. Which reaffirms the view that the first quarter has been fairly good for the US economy. But this also means that the upward pressure on both CPI and wage inflation continues!   

22nd Feb 2022

Key takeaway: As expected, business activity picked up substantially in Feb 2022 compared to Jan 2022. This was also evidence that that Jan drop in activity / output was more supply constraint and omicron related, than any kind of reduction in aggregate demand. This further strengthens the case for monetary policy tightening

24th Jan 2022

Key takeaway: Business activity slowed substantially in January 2022. But the reasons might be more supply constraint related than lack of or slowing demand

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) measures the activity level of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector. The Service PMI data are based on surveys of over 400 executives in private sector service companies and cover transport and communication, financial intermediaries, business and personal services, computing & IT, hotels and restaurants. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector; below 50 indicates contraction.

S&P Global PMI