Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The data deluge continues: ISM tanks, construction spending comes in flat

The deluge of economic data is continuing, and the latest numbers don't look good. The details:

* The ISM manufacturing index plunged to 43.5 in September. That was down from 49.9 in August, well below the forecast for a reading of 49.5, and the worst reading since October 2001. The new orders subindex dropped to 38.8 from 48.3, the employment subindex fell to 41.8 from 49.7, and the production subindex tanked to 40.8 from 52.1.

* Construction spending was flat in August. But July's reading was revised down to -1.4% from a previously reported -0.6%. Private residential construction was actually UP 0.3%, according to the Commerce Department, but private nonresidential spending fell 0.8%. That was the second decline in a row in that category. Going forward, I expect nonresidential spending to continue deteriorating due to the economic slump and the tightening in the commercial real estate lending market.


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