Headline reading improved to 52.0 in August, up on 51.0 in July, marking the highest reading since November 2012 when it stood at 52.4 and the third highest reading in 12 months. Release from Markit is here. My analysis as follows:
- 1.0 points gain on July is a decent number. We are now into third consecutive month of nominal seasonally-adjusted readings above 50.0. All of these are good signs.
- Another good sign: 12mo MA is now at 50.8 and 3mo MA is at 51.1. This implies that 3mo MA is ahead significantly over 48.8 reading for 3mo through May 2013. However, on a negative side, 3mo MA through August 2013 is down on 52.6 recorded for the 3mo through August 2012, although it is ahead of 3mo MA for the same period in 2011, and down on same period average for 2010.
- Cautionary signs: current reading is still below statistically significant levels (ca 52.2), although we are in a Laplace distribution (as I noted earlier, based on higher moments). Last time the index was reading statistically above 50.0 was in November 2012.
- Another note of caution: Q3 2013 to-date averages at 51.5 – nice number, but recall that in a contractionary Q1 2013, PMIs averaged above 50.1. Nonetheless, good news – the index for Q3 2013 to-date is above both Q1 and Q2 readings.
Note strong departure from 6mo MA in the chart above, which is encouraging; and in the chart below, note that we have finally reached above the crisis-period average for the index.
Another good news bit is that we have moved closer to confirming the index breakout from the downward trend that run from July 2012 through June 2013. One-two months more of this performance and we can be moving onto a new trend:
Summary: overall, decent performance by manufacturing PMI in August.
I cannot confirm any of the statements made by Markit/Investec, and note: I have not seen Investec usual longer release so far. However, per Markit, all three main sub-sectors have posted increases in output in August, and “new orders rose for the second successive month, and at a solid pace that was the strongest since July 2012”. No idea where actual indices readings are at. “Meanwhile, employment continued to rise, extending the current sequence of job creation to three months. However, the pace of increase slowed over the month.” Again, no idea as per actual readings.