Monday, March 5, 2012

5/3/2012: Weak Manufacturing PMI for February

In the next few posts I will be updating the current data on Irish PMIs. This first post will be focusing on core PMI data for Manufacturing. All original data is courtesy of NCB, with analysis provided by myself. Some of the indices reported are derived by me on the basis of proprietary models and are labeled/identified as such.

Taking from the top:

  • Core Manufacturing PMI has posted shallower contraction at 49.7 (statistically insignificantly different from 50.0=no change) in February. This signals compounded contraction on January deeper rate of deterioration (48.3).
  • 12mo MA for core PMI is at 50.3 with 3mo MA at 48.9. Previous 3mo period average was 38.4, so there is no consistent break from the shallow negative growth trend so far.
  • Same 3mo period in 2011 averaged 54.9 and in 2010 - 48.5. Again, data suggests roughly similar dynamics today as in 2009-2010, not 2010-2011 period.

  • New orders sub-index reached marginally above 50 in February at 50.1, marking substantial improvement since January 46.8 reading. 12mo MA is at 50.2 - in effect showing no growth in the last 21 months. 3mo MA remains strongly contractionary at 47.6
  • New exports orders posted a deterioration and slipped into negative growth territory at 49.7 in February from 50.9 in January. 
  • Output subindex clearly shows the established flat trend that is running since mid-2011. Output rose to 50.4 (statistically indistinguishable from 50) from contractionary 47.3 and is now running ahead of 3mo MA of 48.8, but behind 12mo MA of 51.5.
Chart below shows more recent snapshot of data with clear evidence of flat - zero-growth - trend since mid-2011.

Two charts below detail other components of the Index:

  • Backlogs of work slightly improved to slower contraction-signaling 43.8 from 41.1 in January
  • Quantity of purchases also improved by posting shallower rate of decline at 48.7 agains 47.1 in January
  • Critically, February output prices posted deeper deflation at 47 against 48 in January. Output prices are now staying in deflationary territory since August 2011.
  • Input prices inflation shot up in February to 60.5 from already inflationary 58.3.
  • The two movements above mean profit margins have shrunk in Manufacturing - although more details on this in later post dedicated to profits margins in both Services and Manufacturing sectors.

Real disappointment comes from Employment sub-index:

  • Employment sub-index in Manufacturing has posted slight acceleration in contraction from 49.5 in January to 49.3 in February
  • The index is now running below 50 - on average - over 12 months. Last 3 mo MA is 49.8, which is down from same period of 2011 when it stood at 51.8.
  • Given the above profitability trend, it is likely that Manufacturing Employment will not be posting any serious growth any time soon.

Next post will update data for Services PMI.
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