In December, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity—our broadest measure of manufacturing—lost four points, settling at 5 from November’s reading of 9. Among the index’s components, shipments fell five points to 6, the gauge for new orders was almost unchanged at 10, and the jobs index turned negative, losing six points to -3.
Nothing here that's good. November's surprise positive read is now bleeding off, and the awful is found in the employees and workweek, both of which turned negative.
In addition backlog is flat on its back, which means that nobody is ordering back anything they don't need right now -- there is no backlog.
The short version here is that manufacturers are expecting fairly severe economic contraction in the coming months, no matter what they say -- this is what they're doing.
Retail sales dropped in December, dragging November’s index down twenty-seven points to a reading of -13. The index for shopper traffic also dropped into negative territory, ending at -18, following November’s 23. Furthermore, big-ticket sales withered, pulling that index down seventeen points to -31 this month. Retail inventories rose slightly, with the index at 6 following last month’s reading of -1. Merchants expected a weak market in the first half of the new year. The index for expected product demand fell to -24 in December from -3.
Retail employment declined this month, with the index for the number of employees falling to -21 from the previous reading of -13. The index for average wages lost twelve points, settling at -4.
Yeah, Christmas was going to be ok..... oops.
Overall service sector revenues were negative, employee count went deeply negative to -12 from -6 and expected demand is flat at zero.
In retail shopper traffic was -18 from +23 last month, right into Christmas. Worse, expected demand is -24 from last month's -3.
There's no silver lining here and with services being 70% of the economy there's only way to characterize this report:
Here it comes!
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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