From Real Time Economics: No Real Time Manufacturing Recession (Yet)

One Wall Street Journal blog that I've enjoyed reading of late is titled Real Time Economics. In a recent post, the authors show US manufacturing activity remaining above recessionary levels for now. Citing recently released ISM data showing a negligible drop from October to November, the authors quote an ISM representative noting that "current recession fears -- the credit crunch, subprime-mortgage meltdown, and housing market distress -- have less to do with manufacturing and more to do with the services industry." This means that the ISM non-manufacturing report due out Wednesday will be all the more interesting -- especially as a basis for comparison with the manufacturing one. Still, the US can't permanently export its way out of a manufacturing downturn. According to one analyst who examined the recent ISM data, manufacturing "backlogs are declining" and "export growth alone [cannot] prevent an overall decline in manufacturing output in the current quarter." Still, with the Euro only a couple of cents off its all time high against the dollar -- which occurred in late November -- all things are possible if the United States can become Europe's low cost country sourcing market of choice.

Jason Busch

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