Friday, August 2, 2013

2/8/2013: Irish Manufacturing PMI: July 2013

Manufacturing PMI for Ireland was out yesterday. And as usual, it was worth waiting and giving the Irish media time to get through their circus of 'analysis'. The excitement of 'growth' predictions aside, here's the raw truth about the numbers (please, keep in mind that shambolic data coverage by Markit press-release is no longer conducive to any serious analysis of the underlying components of the PMIs). Note: PMI for Ireland are released by Investec and Markit.

All we have is the headline number. On the surface, headline Manufacturing PMI moved from 50.3 in June to 51.0 in July. Both numbers are above 50.0 and thus suggest expansion. This marks two consecutive months of growth.

However, there are some serious problems with the above. Read on:
-- At 51.0, July PMI is barely above 12 mo average of 50.7.
-- 3mo average through July is at 50.3, ahead of 49.4 3mo average through April 2013 - which is good news.
-- In July 2012, PMI was at 53.9 which was statistically significantly above 50.0 (in other words, statistically we did have growth in July 2012, which turned out to be pretty disastrous year for manufacturing and industry as we know). And in July 2013 at 51.0 there is no statistically significant difference in current PMI reading from 50.0, which means - statistically-speaking - we do not have growth.
-- Current 3mo MA at 50.3 is not different from 50.0 statistically
-- Current 3mo MA is below that in 2012 (52.7), ahead of that in 2011 (49.9) and below that for 2010 (52.4) - which is not exactly confidence-inspiring, right?
-- M/m (recall, these are seasonally-adjusted numbers) there was a rise in PMI of 0.7 (slightly better than m/m rise of 0.6 in June 2013). Alas, this monthly rise was also statistically indifferent from zero.

Here are two charts that illustrate the above points.

In short - good news is that PMI is reading above 50 and strengthened in July compared to June. Bad news is that statistically-speaking, neither the reading levels (in both June and July), nor increases m/m (in both June or July) are significant. Which means that we simply cannot will away the caution in reading the PMI numbers this time around.

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