Another Recession Warning: ISM Contracts 4th Month


ISM fired another recession warning today as the manufacturing contraction extends another month.

The November 2019 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® has some grim statistics.

  1. PMI, new orders, production, and employment down 4th month
  2. Prices and inventories down 6th month
  3. Backlog of orders down 7th month
  4. New export orders contracting

GM Strike Ended

The GM strike ended on October 25. The Econoday consensus expected some improvement. Nope.


Today, in a surprise Tweet, Trump Restores Steel and Aluminum Tariffs for Argentina and Brazil.

This will raise input prices on US manufacturers when prices have fallen for 6 months.

Perhaps Trump still expects a deal with China but China is demanding more than Trump wants to give.

Phone Chips

Also recall Trump banned US companies from buying US-manufactured chips for its phones.

Guess what?

China was once very dependent on US chips for its phones. The Latest Chinese Phones Have No US Parts.

Trump has since rescinded the parts ban, but now it's too late. Trump cut off supplies so China looked elsewhere.

US farmers are still suffering.

Another Recession Warning

Here's yet another recession warning: Freight Volumes Negative YoY for 11th Straight Month.

Trump's trade policies have been an absolute disaster.

No, we are not "winning big" no matter how many times Trump repeats that lie.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (25)
No. 1-7

The real question is whether GDP will continue to hover between 0 and 2% or go actually go negative. My bet is we don't go negative. Supply chains are adjusting to new realities in trade. There will be periods of stuffing the channel because of trade issues which cause inventory overhang which lead to slowdowns in manufacturing. Trump has been a net positive for some southeast Asian countries.

FWIW, you are way off the China chip thing. China was never that reliant on US chips as there were always alternate suppliers in Europe and Asia. China also has their own domestic chip capabilities with Huawei's HiSilicon (both arms of the Chinese government).

At some point you may see US chip companies just change their HQ address some non-US location to sell back into China. Most smaller US chip companies already do this with incorporated addresses in places like Bermuda despite having most of their employees in the US. They are at a huge advantage now as they can sell into China while larger US-based competitors can't.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

Black Friday weekend sales.

Normally - when sales are good - you can't turn on the tv without someone saying how awesome things are. This year? Silence was DEAFENING.

Of course, online sales saw big gains, but still much smaller than B&M. Did find this from Forbes:

By comparison, things were not so sunny at malls and shopping centers this past Friday. RetailNext provided an early look at in-store shopping activity across tens of thousand of stores operating under its RetailNext smart-store platform.

The results: Traffic was down 2.1%, average transaction values dropped 6.7%, and overall sales declined 1.6%.


Nattering nabobs of negativism...

The market''s going up, because it's going up.

Isn't that enough for you?


Every week, you have stories about “growth surprises upward” or “things are getting worse”. I will stick with my steady 1% growth prediction going forward. Unless Trump does something really stupid.


I need to mark my calendar, when does this coming recession occur?


We are nowhere close to market euphoria and irrational exuberance. We are in the healthy stages of doubt, worry, and confusion, especially with the China/USA trade issues. Our markets will continue to churn upward on the same doubt, worry, and confusion that has gotten us here. Nothing is broken with the absolute unknowing of the things we know nothing about with any certainty except the uncertainty of the Trump Administration. Uncertainty and hope have out maneuvered lack of faith, fear, and panic in our US markets and will continue to be fed more good news than bad news to keep the momentum to Blue Sky markets going into 2024 and beyond. No major recession until after 2032.


ES futures monthly chart shows bearish rising wedge

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