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ISM and New Factory Orders Charts Explained in Real Terms

As this data is updated monthly you can access the updated data from the Economic Charts menu in the lower left sidebar. Or just bookmark the permanent page.

ISM New Orders Index Not Seasonally Adjusted

The ISM not seasonally adjusted (in other words, actual) new orders index as of April 2012 has been diverging from the stock market as the growth rate of the US manufacturing sector slows. This suggests that the April factory orders data won’t show much growth when announced next month. The manufacturing sector represents about 11% of the economy. The services sector data representing the bulk of the US economy, normally released a few days after the manufacturing data, typically shadows this index closely.

Real New Factory Orders, The Stock Market, and The Fed

Real Factory Orders, The Stock Market, and The Fed

Real Factory Orders, The Stock Market, and The Fed - Click to enlarge

As of March, real factory orders, adjusted for inflation are now flat for the last 12 months. The much ballyhooed manufacturing growth is a media myth.  The trend was still up in February as the year to year line for that month shows. But than in March, that line turned flat. February was strong due in part to the warm weather. That robbed orders from March, leaving the trend flat for the last 12 months. Them message from the lower half of the chart is that if the Fed does not step on the gas, both the economy and the stock market are likely to stall out.  Whether the Fed pumps or not may depend on whether commodity prices cooperate.

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Lee Adler

I’ve been publishing The Wall Street Examiner and its predecessor since October 2000. I also publish, and was lead analyst for Sure Money Investor, of blessed memory. I developed David Stockman's Contra Corner for Mr. Stockman. I’ve had a wide variety of finance related jobs since 1972, including a stint on Wall Street in both sales, analytical, and trading capacities. Prior to starting the Wall Street Examiner I was a commercial real estate appraiser in Florida for 15 years. I was considered an expert in the analysis of failed properties that ended up in the hands of bank REO divisions, the FDIC, and the RTC. Remember those guys? I also worked in the residential mortgage and real estate businesses in parts of the 1970s and 80s. I have been charting stocks and markets and doing analytical work since I was a teenager. I'm not some Ivory Tower academic, Wall Street guy. My perspective comes from having my boots on the ground and in the trenches, as a real estate broker, mortgage broker, trader, account rep, and analyst. I've watched most of the games these Wall Street wiseguys play from right up close. I know the drill from my 55 years of paying attention. And I'm happy to share that experience with you, right here. 


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