Dec 5, 2019

By the numbers: Trump's manufacturing slump

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Data: BLS; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While sentiment indicators have been split, the jobs data and reports from businesses are painting a clear picture of the U.S. manufacturing industry's stress.

What they're saying: Timothy Fiore, chairman of the ISM survey committee, which tracks the sector through its purchasing managers index, said his report may be underestimating the damage. (His company's latest report showed manufacturing contracting for the fourth straight month.)

  • "I think a lot the [layoffs] are flying under the radar — no one wants to impact consumer sentiment, no one wants to announce cuts around Christmas," Fiore told Barron's last month.
  • "People are dropping shifts, canceling overtime, sending temporary workers home."
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Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The big picture: The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book, which tracks businesses around the country, has a recurring theme.

  • "Several retailers reported that tariffs were raising costs and hurting profit margins," the Fed's Richmond office reported.
  • "Uncertainty generally remained elevated, driven by trade tensions, the political climate, and weaker global growth," the Dallas Fed noted.
  • "Business contacts in retail and manufacturing reported facing increased price pressures due to tariffs," the St. Louis Fed found.

Go deeper:

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The end of Trump's manufacturing renaissance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The manufacturing industry got a huge boost from President Trump's election, seeing a groundswell of job gains during his first year in office. But the trade war with China has undone that progress: Jobs in the sector have stalled out and turned negative in 2019.

Why it matters: Reviving American manufacturing was a central tenet of Trump's 2016 campaign, and the industry's retrenchment shows how another Trump constituency is being punished as a result of his trade war. (The nation's farmers are also struggling mightily.)

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

Key manufacturing index contracts for the fourth straight month

The ISM's November manufacturing report released Monday contracted for the fourth straight month.

Why it matters: It's an unexpected decline as most industry watchers expected the reading to rise. Surveys have shown manufacturing output declining for more than a year.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 2, 2019

The U.S. services sector is holding on

Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

Economists and fund managers are concerned about the services sector, which makes up around 70% of U.S. employment.

Driving the news: ISM's non-manufacturing PMI report released Wednesday showed a weaker-than-expected reading that was 5.4 points below October, but continued to expand with a reading above 50.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019