October 2015

August Trade Deficit Jumps by 15.6%, on Pace to Subtract 0.68 Percentage Points from 3rd quarter GDP

Our August trade deficit rose by 15.6% from July as the value of our exports fell and the value of our imports rose.  The Census report on our international trade in goods and services for August indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods and services trade deficit rose by $6.5 billion to $48.3 billion in August from a July deficit which was revised from $41.9 billion to $41.8 billion. 

Over Half a Million Drop Out of Labor Force, Participation Rate at Record Low

The September unemployment report is really a disaster.  Yet another 579,000 people dropped out of the labor force.  The labor participation rate dropped to record lows not seen since October 1977.  That's 38 years ago.  Even more disturbing is how the unemployment rate is really undermined as a reading on the state of labor.  The official unemployment rate did not change at all and remained at 5.1%.

ISM Index Shows a Barely Breathing Manufacturing Sector, PMI 50.2%

The September ISM Manufacturing Survey shows yet more deceleration of the manufacturing sector.  While a PMI of 50.2% is still growth, it is barely growth.  The composite PMI decreased by -0.9 percentage points and new orders decreased by -1.6 percentage points.  Order backlogs truly imploded.