More bad economic news this week?
James Pethokoukis, blogging at the American Enterprise Institute's public policy blog, AEIdeas, yesterday, writes:
"New data suggests the three-year economic expansion — as anemic as it has been — may be at an end, or is at least perilously close. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index unexpectedly fell to 49.7 in June from 53.5 a month earlier. A reading of less than 50 signals contraction.
"Not one of 70 economists interviewed by Bloomberg thought it would be below 50.5."
Pethokoukis includes the following set of charts from the Institute for Supply Management:
Mr. Pethokoukis' post includes a couple more charts worth looking at.
UPDATE (7/3/12): The following is from a Reuters story posted on Monday:
"It was the first time since July 2009 that the index has fallen below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. That was shortly after the U.S. economy emerged from recession.
"Manufacturing has been one of the drivers of the U.S. economic recovery, which now appears to be losing momentum over fears about the euro zone's debt crisis, a slowdown in China and uncertainty over domestic fiscal policy.
"Clearly this is the biggest sign yet that the U.S. is catching the slowdown that is well under way in Europe and China," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in London."