08202018Mon
Last updateFri, 17 Aug 2018 5pm

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Dissecting the ISM Manufacturing Report

Last week the Institute of Supply Chain Management (ISM) released its Manufacturing report on business. It wasn't pretty, with a reading of 32.4% (see my previous article on how to interpret these index numbers), levels that haven't been seen since the mid 70's and early 80's.

So why dig into the report? Well, it only takes you 10 minutes to read it, and it reveals other bits of information that can help frame your perspective on the environment.

Source: David Tsao

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Richardson to Withdraw as Commerce Secretary

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.

"Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact," he said Sunday in a report by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell.

Source: NBC

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Industrial Output Falling Sharply

U.S. manufacturing activity decreased in December at its fastest pace in nearly 30 years, as businesses cut production and slashed product orders in response to the global recession, according to a closely watched survey.

The Institute for Supply Management's index of industrial production slipped from 36.2 percent in November to 32.4 percent in December, the lowest level since June 1980.

Source: Washington Post

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'Fair' Traders Are Perplexed By Obama's Pick for USTR

President-elect Barack Obama's selection of former Dallas, Texas, mayor Ron Kirk as his United States Trade Representative has thrown the fair trade community for a loop.

Kirk, a lawyer with the respected Houston firm of Vinson & Elkins, has been a supporter of the NAFTA superhighway and of free trade, both of which have been held in low regard of late among recently elected populist Democrats in Congress, and even among some Republicans.

Source: Manufacturing & Technology News

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Economic Crisis Leads Trade Associations to Regroup

Another victim of the financial crisis gripping the U.S. and the rest of the world are trade associations which are downsizing because of fewer members or reducing their budgets, including lobbying efforts.

The National Association of Manufacturers froze 2009 wages, reduced travel and entertainment expenses and laid off 17 workers.

Source: AHN

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