EDITOR NOTE: The Producer Price Index in January of 2021 gave us the first warning. Input costs, also known as the “cost of production,” began exceeding 2018 levels. Everyone got a sense that these costs would eventually find their way toward consumer prices. But money velocity remained low, as consumers chose to save rather than spend. A month later, input costs began exceeding 2014 levels--an all-time high. Shortly thereafter, prices began surging on the consumer end. The Fed tried to assure Americans that this rise in inflation was “transitory,” blaming it on supply bottlenecks. Now, banks, businesses, and households are slowly losing faith in the Fed’s forecasts, betting on a more “persistent” inflationary scenario. The most recent ISM manufacturers report confirms this notion. As 92% of the surveyed manufacturers in June noted a rise in prices. This will eventually make its way toward goods and services, where prices will painfully continue to rise, eroding purchasing power, boosting the cost of living, and draining American wealth.
The ISM reports a growing PMI for 14 months. But it's prices that caught my attention.
The Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Report for July shows 14 months of manufacturing expansion.
85.7% of respondents reported price increases. In June an amazing 92.1% reported price increases.
ISM Panel Comments (Emphasis Mine)
- Business Survey Committee panelists reported that their companies and suppliers continue to struggle to meet increasing demand levels. As we enter the third quarter, all segments of the manufacturing economy are impacted by near record-long raw-material lead times, continued shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodities prices and difficulties in transporting products.
- Worker absenteeism, short-term shutdowns due to parts shortages and difficulties in filling open positions continue to be issues limiting manufacturing-growth potential.
- Optimistic panel sentiment remained strong, with 13 positive comments for every cautious comment.
- All of the six biggest manufacturing industries — Computer & Electronic Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; and Petroleum & Coal Products, in that order — registered moderate to strong growth in July
- Seventeen of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in July. The only industry reporting a decrease in July compared to June was Textile Mills.
ISM Customer Comments (Emphasis Mine)
- "Business levels continue to exhibit strong demand, with no signs of backing down. Purchases continue to have long lead times due to shortages of raw materials and labor force, as well as logistics challenges. Increased costs are being passed to customers.” [Computer & Electronic Products]
- “Supply chains are slowly, very slowly filling up. Like a water hose, starting upstream and slowly flowing downstream. Rumor is a full return to ‘normal’ may be nearer to year’s end, but the situation is progressing. Transportation (equipment and drivers) is the current pinch point, more so than material shortages.” [Chemical Products]
- “Strong sales continue, and inventories are low as the chip shortage is keeping production numbers down — we have idled several of our assembly plants to reduce the strain on the chip supply base.” [Transportation Equipment]
- “Still dealing with price increases from force majeure issues as well as overseas shipping premiums and higher costs of items like fuel. Customer demand still high; pushing plant to max production rates.” [Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products]
- “Strong operations, (with) new programs, orders and launches. Continue to have hiring difficulties and are unable to fill production and salaried jobs (due to) a lack of candidates. Raw materials are still in short supply, with longer lead times.” [Fabricated Metal Products]
- “Incoming bookings continue to be strong, and economy continues to return. Still struggling with inflation and availability (of materials, labor and freight).” [Furniture & Related Products]
- “Sales are above last year by a good percentage, but meeting demand is just not possible due to force majeure situations, logistics, and labor shortages. We don’t anticipate this ending until well into 2022.” [Nonmetallic Mineral Products]
- “Supply chain continues to be extremely challenging in a variety of categories. Having to place orders months ahead of time just to get a place in line.” [Machinery]
- “Business levels continue to be very strong, but we also continue to struggle finding employees. We can only fill 75 percent of our order requirements due to the labor shortage.” [Primary Metals]
Hooray! Bond yields are down again.
Yield on the 10-year Treasury note is down 6 basis points today to 1.18%.
How much longer will price data diverge from bond yields?
Original post from Mish Talk