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Tidbits, PMI & Economy, Brazil’s Harvest, Export Sales 5/24/24

Highlights


We had good news about the US economy yesterday morning. S&P Global (an independent agency) reported yesterday morning that its U.S. Composite PMI Output Index, which tracks both the manufacturing and services sectors, jumped to 54.4 this month. That is the highest level since April 2022 and well above 51.3 in April 2024.

 

A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index little changed at 51.1. The sharp increase was driven by the service sector PMI rising to 54.8 from 51.3 in April. The manufacturing PMI inched up to 50.9 from 50.0 last month. A PMI less than 50 shows the business activity will slow in the coming month.

 

The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell again to 215,000 and was less than expected, reaffirming that layoffs are low and the economy is being buoyed by a strong labor market. Initial jobless claims have hovered between 194,000 and 232,000 this year, a remarkably low level last achieved consistently in the 1960s.

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