Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Construction spending, ISM better than expected. But ...

We're getting some more economic data as I write. Here's what the numbers show:

The overall ISM Manufacturing index came in at 50.2 in June. That was up from 49.6 a month earlier, and better than the 48.5 reading that was expected. In fact, it was the highest reading since January.

But the individual components of the report don't look as positive. The index tracking new orders ticked down to 49.6 from 49.7. The index measuring employment dropped to 43.7 from 45.5, the lowest since May 2003 (42.4). And the index measuring prices paid jumped to 91.5 from 87. That's the highest reading going all the way back to July 1979 (93.1).

Construction spending, for its part, dropped 0.4% in May. That was a bit better than the 0.6% decline that was expected. April's reading was revised up to -0.1% from 0.4%.

Private residential spending dropped again (by 1.6%), while private nonresidential spending inched up by 0.2%. By subsector, construction spending rose 3.2% in the lodging arena and 2.1% in the power business. But amusement construction spending dropped 5.4% and commercial construction spending dropped 1.4%.

Market reaction: A spike in stocks off the lows, a quick move up in the dollar, and a drop from the highs for bonds. But can it hold?


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