- Prior was -17.7
- Output 3.8 vs 2.3 prior
- New orders -9.2 vs -7.3 prior
- Employment +17.9 vs +15.2 prior
- Outlook -10.8 vs -20.2 prior
- Prices paid for raw materials 38.4 vs 57.5 prior
- Prices received 29.3 vs 33.8 prior
- Wages 38.1 vs 49.9
The improvement in the outlook is notable and inflation metrics are improving.
The comments in the report are all over the place, with these two both coming from the chemical manufacturing industry:
- The concerns of a looming recession have increased over the last month. With supply-chain issues continuing, the cost of raw materials remaining high and significant interest rate hikes, overall business activity has to slow. It is just a matter of when—which I believe is soon.
- Business activity and sales remain solid. Our focus is pushing prices to recover margin.
- We are starting to see weakness in incoming orders. We are preparing for a further slowdown but hoping for the best.
- Broad-based inflation, together with difficulties in recruiting while our customers’ activity is strong, creates a puzzling and uncertain environment.
- Consumer goods demand continues to drop dramatically. I have been forced to temporarily close one production site, permanently terminating the employment of 150 employees. The outlook is grim, and I do not think reopening that site will be possible in the next six months, as client forecasting is very low
- Sales were down last month and have plateaued in July (not decreasing, but not improving). We are hoping to see a pickup as summer travel ends and inflation steadies, but we aren't factoring that into our forecasts. Product costs are steady, and we don't expect to raise prices.
- We have gotten stupid busy and will stay this way through July and August. We have some really large jobs coming up, making for hectic times on the plant floor. Additional supply-chain disruptions and longer lead times on materials and supplies are adding to the stress level.
- The volatility of oil prices has stopped the oil companies from spending money once again. Also, the political environment has added uncertainty to the business that did not exist a month ago. President Biden going overseas to beg for more oil supply instead of working with the domestic producers really adds uncertainty to the domestic producers and their budgets. This will affect our plans dramatically for expanding our business.