Sep 8, 2020 - Economy

Manufacturing's recovery — perception vs. reality

Data: FRED and; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Surveys tracking the sentiment of U.S. manufacturers have surged back to their 2019 levels, showing a V-shaped recovery in the industry — but the hard numbers for sales and shipments tell a different story.

What's happening: Highly tracked purchasing managers' indexes from the Institute for Supply Management and IHS Markit have surged in recent months to show growth in the industry.

  • But those indexes simply ask companies whether things are getting better, worse or staying the same.

By the numbers: The real value of U.S. goods exports in July was the lowest since November 2010, and the value of goods and services exports in Q2 was the lowest since Q1 2010, according to the latest U.S. Census and GDP reports.

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