"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ISM Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending, And Wow, Look At The Dow

Real quick here, the ISM Manufacturing Index is a survey of 300 manufacturing firms about employment, production, new orders, etc, etc, etc. Anything above 50% is considered a sign of an expanding factory sector. The Street wants to see the factory sector expand because, when you get right down to it, factories are one the sector that actually produces useful things in the economy.

October saw a 56.9%. The Street is looking for a 57% for November. Did we achieve it? Check for yourself at http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm?navItemNumber=12942, or read the highlights.

Overall, the index comes in at 56.6%, still growing but slower than October. The overall economy is considered to be growing, but at a slowing rate, a trend which has continued for the last 19 months. The result is mildly disappointing, but not terrible by any means.

Construction spending saw an overall increase of 0.5% from September to October, but a 10.4% decrease from October 2009 to October 2010. The Street is expecting construction spending to decrease in October, falling 0.4%. The figures are at http://www.census.gov/const/C30/totsa.pdf, and here's the highlights:

Overall construction spending increased by 0.7%, with residential construction spending leading the pack with 2.4% growth. Much better than expected.

Oh, and the Dow is up 196.75. Yee-haw?

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