Tuesday, October 03, 2006

U.S. Economic Outlook

James Pethokoukis writes in U.S. News and World Report that yesterday's report from the Institute of Supply Management is "[a]nother sign that the economy may be headed for a soft landing, rather than a hard one."

Meanwhile, BBC news uses the same ISM report to highlight the negative:

"The US manufacturing sector grew at a slower-than-expected pace in September, seeing its sharpest fall since May 2005...[t]he Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for the last month dipped to 52.9 from August's 54.9."

Peter Coy of Business Week Online takes a more careful, comprehensive approach, and pits the bulls against the bears, attempting to present a debate between the two sides. He does however, share the BBC opinion about the ISM report, saying:

"The latest news supporting the bears' case came on Oct. 2, when the Institute for Supply Management reported weaker than expected manufacturing activity last month. "

So, which is it? Does the ISM report point to a positive future, or is it an ominous sign? See for yourself here, but keep in mind it's just one economic report in a sea of economic indicators.


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