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Expand chart
Data: Investing.com; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The ISM's November U.S. manufacturing index got all the headlines with a fourth straight reading showing the industry in contraction, but IHS Markit's index was also released Monday and told a very different story.

What's happening: Both surveys are well respected by investors and economists, but follow different methodologies. This seems to have created a widening divide in which IHS Markit's data is showing a solid recovery in U.S. manufacturing while ISM's is showing further deterioration.

Why it matters: Manufacturing is a leading economic indicator and if ISM's data is correct, the U.S. economy could be in peril.

  • Alternatively, if IHS Markit data is correct, it appears the industry has found its bottom and has steadily been rebounding over the past few months.

Details: ISM uses five components, each weighted evenly at 20% — new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories.

  • IHS uses a weighted average that gives greater importance to new orders (30%), output (25%) and employment (20%), and lower weighting to suppliers’ delivery times (15%) and stocks of purchases (10%).

Be smart: The ISM survey includes only members of the Institute for Supply Management, making it more consistent but also potentially more prone to groupthink. Analysts also have suggested that this makes it more likely to focus on larger companies.

  • IHS Markit says its survey panel includes more companies and is larger than the ISM's stated panel size.
  • The company "surveys just under 800 manufacturing companies (approximately double the size of the ISM panel size) from which an 80% response rate is typically received," IHS Markit's chief business economist Chris Williamson wrote in a recent explainer.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.