Our ignored economic engine, manufacturing, is on life support.
The Institute for Supply Management's factory index fell to 38.9 from 43.5 in September; 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction. The Commerce Department said separately that construction spending fell for the eighth time in 10 months in September
From the ISM press release:
It appears that manufacturing is experiencing significant demand destruction as a result of recent events, with members indicating challenges associated with the financial crisis, interruptions from the Gulf hurricane, and the lagging impact from higher oil prices. This is the lowest level for the PMI since September 1982 when it registered 38.8 percent. In this report, we see inflationary pressures dissolving as the Prices Index fell to 37 percent, the lowest since December 2001 when it registered 33.2 percent. Export orders also contracted for the first time following 70 months of growth.
(who believes this season's Hurricanes, unlike 2006 could possibly cause this much decline?)