Wednesday, January 5, 2011

05/01/2011: PMIs and employment trends - December 2010

This is the last post in the series of three covering PMIs. The first two covered two sectors of the economy: Manufacturing and Services. As before, the data was released by the NCB Stockbrokers.

As I mentioned in the first post, PMIs serve important function - they act as close-lead indicators of economic activity ('close' referring to short lags between PMIs and economic performance). One of the most pressing issues in Irish economy today is unemployment and PMIs provide employment outlook that signals (albeit imperfectly) where we are heading in terms of jobs creation. Here are the two series for PMIs

and the same for employment:
So while Manufacturing is signaling weak growth across both output and employment, Services are showing neither:
Weighted (by economy weights) average of the two points in the chart above places December squarely into the Recession Area along the axis that barely enters Optimal Growth Area. It is worth noting that longer-term trends (and these are strong with 0.847 RSq for Services and even stronger 0.892 for Manufacturing) do not support Jobless Recovery. In contrast with historical experience, this is exactly where we are heading in Q1-Q2 2011 per chart above.
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