Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Making more do with less

No, this is not about how all the laid off and underemployed people in the US are managing to squeak through these tough times on hamburger and tuna extenders.

It's what the financial press is cheerfully reporting because what is left of the Midwest manufacturing sector employees are churning out more inventory products with fewer of them.

UPDATE 1-U.S. Midwest business expands as orders jump
"It shows manufacturing activity is holding up after a recovery in the third quarter, and it looks like the bounce we got in the auto sector probably is helping other areas too," said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St Louis, Missouri.
Chicago PMI rises to 15-month high
More businesses in the Chicago region were expanding in November than at any time in the past 15 months, according to the Chicago purchasing managers index released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management of Chicago.

"An industrial recovery continues to unfold across the United States," wrote Neil Dutta, an economist for Bank of America's Merrill Lynch.

The employment index rose to 41.9% from 38.3%, indicating most firms are still shedding workers.



FOLLOW THROUGH:

What happens in the Chicago PMI stays in the Chicago PMI:
The Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday that its index of manufacturing activity for November moved to a reading of 53.6 from 55.7 the month before and 54.2 in September.

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