Friday, October 1, 2010

Economic Data Trends Improving

Those who were looking for some sort of unambiguously bullish number from this morning’s ISM manufacturing survey may have been disappointed, but as the chart below shows, economic data relative to expectations have taken on a much more bullish tone since the end of August.  There was some evidence of a positive trend in the data when I last posted this chart on September 13th in Chart of the Week: Updated Economic Trend Data. At that time, however, the trend was a weak one, leading me to conclude:

"While there is some evidence that the downtrend in economic data may have been broken, there is at best marginal evidence to support the idea of a bullish uptrend in the data."
Since that time, there has been a notable uptick in the data – at least relative to consensus estimates – in manufacturing, housing/construction and in the consumer sector.

Of course until the increase in economic activity is reflected in the nonfarm payrolls reports next Friday or in subsequent months, any sort of ‘improvement’ is going to look more like treading water than genuine progress.

Also of note: next Friday is the final nonfarm payrolls report before the mid-term elections.

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