ISM Manufacturing Index
After a strong rebound in the second quarter, the momentum in the industrial sector is showing signs of slowing. While still in growth mode, the recent ISM Index fell slightly, to 55.4%. This may be setting the pace for economic growth trends for the rest of the year and into 2021. While the industrial sector is only 10% of GDP, it is a reasonable proxy for overall demand.
Initial Unemployment Claims, 4-Week Moving Average
Unemployment trends continue to improve. The overall unemployment rate fell to 7.4% in the most recent survey, while the 4-week average of unemployment insurance claims fell to 811,250 new filings. This remains far above the levels of 2019 and early 2020. Given continuing COVID-19-related constraints, the unemployment level is expected to be well above normal into 2021.
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