The ISM.PMI came in at 50.9 percent last month, almost 2 points below August and the lowest reading we’ve seen since May of 2020.

While anything over 50 does represent expansion, the rate of growth has either decreased or remained stagnant since May of this year.

Of all the PMI’s subsets, inventory is the highest at 55.5, growing 2.4 pts from August. Additional subsets remaining in expansion territory include production, supplier deliveries, prices, order backlogs, and imports.

Many respondents still referencing supply chain relates issues contributing to the overall deterioration of the PMI as well as staffing, fears of a global recession, market uncertainties, and inflation.

Following a relatively steep decline in jobless claims from 209k to 190k from the week of September 17th – 24th, claims bounced back up last week to 219k.

Too early to categories as a trend but noteworthy as it marks the greatest increase in claims since the beginning of June.

The BMWED voted down an agreement on Monday. Part of the deal would have increased pay for workers who maintain and build railroad infrastructures. Work life balance has been a major frustration for the group as well as for other railroad employees.

Failure to reach an agreement in a timely manner could result in costly protests.

The deal would have increased wages by 24%, provided bonuses of $5,000, and given employees and additional vacation day.

The rejected agreement has put members into a “status quo” period where current pay and benefits remain intact while negotiations continue with the Class 1 rail network. The “status quo” period will remain until Nov 19th (5 days after congress is expected to reconvene).

As inflation remains high, REAL year-over-year retail sales remain unimpressive.  

Amazon Prime’s “early access” sale is hoping to offset some of those losses over the next 2 days. The sale may also provide some inventory space for certain seasonal items.

Target and Walmart have responded with “early access” type-sales of their own; hoping to jump start the approaching holiday season and reduce warehousing costs as downstream inventories remain robust for both.

The last time Amazon hosted their now 2-day Prime Day event, they sold more than 300 million items. That’s 50 million more items than they sold in 2020.

While these mega retailers will see growth this week the strength of the consumer remains constrained as the cost of living continues to increase and consumers rely more on credit utilization as savings rates remain below pre-pandemic levels.