U.S. Manufacturing Sales & Hiring Rise as Activity hits 6 year High
By Josh Mitchell - Wall Street Journal- Updated Sept 1, 2017
Manufacturing activity in the U.S. reached a six-year high in August, with factories continuing to register a big rise in sales and boosting hiring in response. The Institute for Supply Management said Friday its index of factory activity rose to 58.8 in August from 56.3 in July, hitting the highest level since April 2011. A reading above 50 indicates sector expansion, as measured by factors such as sales, output and hiring.
The reading exceeded economist expectations and suggests stronger global growth, a soft dollar, a booming stock market and rising consumer and business confidence are boosting American manufacturers.
“With global growth strong and the dollar quite soft, U.S. exporters ought to be gaining market share,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note to clients.
Timothy Fiore, head of the ISM survey, said the factory sector appears to be shifting toward stronger growth after a year and a half of steady expansion. Sales have climbed quickly in recent months, a development he attributed to stronger economies overseas and pent-up demand in the U.S. for goods ranging from petroleum to computers. Manufacturers are also reporting higher prices for raw materials, hinting at growing inflation pressures. “This is probably pent-up demand over many, many years,” Mr. Fiore said. He said he believes Hurricane Harvey may temporarily hurt factories by delaying deliveries of supplies and driving up prices but that he expects growth to continue through the year.
Friday’s report showed a sharp rise in hiring among manufacturers. Sales continued to climb rapidly, though at a slightly slower pace from the prior month. A measure of exports slipped but continued to indicate growth.
Based on historical data, factory-sector activity this year corresponds with a 4.2% annualized growth in overall U.S. output, the ISM said. U.S. output grew at a roughly 2% annual rate in the first half of the year, though the economy has gained momentum as the year has unfolded. Output grew at a 3% rate in the second quarter and some economists expect similar or greater growth in the current quarter.
Consumer Sentiment Up Again in August
By Sarah Chaney - Wall Street Journal - Sept. 1, 2017
A measure of U.S. consumer sentiment rose in August, a positive sign for household spending heading into the fall.
The University of Michigan on Friday said its consumer-sentiment index was 96.8 in August, up from 93.4 in July, but down from a preliminary August reading of 97.6. Consumers’ expectations for the future of the economy underpinned the rise in sentiment. The sentiment index has been higher during the first eight months of 2017 than in any year since 2000, mainly a result of consumers’ positive view of their financial situations, including gains in home values and stock prices.
Strength in the labor market is also bolstering consumer confidence.
“With August’s rebound, this measure basically remains at heights last seen before the recession, so consumer attitudes are very positive,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief economist at MFR, Inc., in a note to clients.
An index tracking current economic conditions fell to 110.9 in August from 113.4 in July. An index tracking expectations about the future was up to 87.7 in August from July’s 80.5.
Mr. Curtin said too few interviews were conducted to fully gauge the impact of Hurricane Harvey on consumer sentiment. The storm has resulted in higher gas prices at the pump.
”Given the current resilience of consumers, temporary increases in gas prices as well as a brief period of weakness in economic growth and employment are unlikely to derail confidence,” he said. “Nonetheless, all of these events are more likely to increase precautionary motives and to slightly temper spending trends.”
Other measures of consumer confidence remain high. The Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index rose in August to the second highest reading since late 2000. Economic data offer signs that consumption growth could remain strong in the coming months. Sales at U.S. retailers rose 0.6% in July, the biggest monthly gain since December, the Commerce Department said last month.
Aquatics Magazine Readers Vote Heat Siphon with New Temperature Probe 2017 Most Valuable Product
by Bill Bernardi - June, 2017
Posted - Los Angeles, CA
We are very proud and pleased to publish the following letter received from the Editor-In-Chief of Aquatics International Pool & Spa News:
Each year the readers of Aquatics International select the 25 Most Valuable Products (MVP) from those featured in the January 2017 New Products Issue.
I’m happy to inform you that your product, Pool Heat Pump Models w/new thermometers, made this year’s MVP list. As one of the MVPs, your product will appear in a four-color editorial of reader-selected Most Valuable Products, which is scheduled to run in our June digital edition.
Again, congratulations! "
Joanne McClain , Editor-in-Chief
Aquatics International Pool & Spa News
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