ISM – Good News
Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 61.2 in May, up from 60.7. “The headline index indicates expansion for the 12th month in a row. ISM said, the past relationship between the Manufacturing PMI and the overall economy indicates that the Manufacturing PMI for May (61.2 %) corresponds to a 5.2% increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis.”
Looking at some details, new orders rose from 64.3 to 67.0. Production dropped from 62.5 to 58.5. Employment dived from 55.1 to 50.9. Supplier deliveries rose from 75.0 to 78.8. Inventories rose from 46.5 to 50.8. Prices dropped from 89.6 to 88.0.
ISM – Bad News
Soaring prices and widespread shortages of parts, materials and labor threaten to undercut fast-growing American manufacturers and throw up a roadblock to a U.S. economy still recovering from the coronavirus. In short, the most pressing problem in the manufacturing sector isn’t a lack of demand, it’s the ability to meet demand,” said chief economist Richard Moody of Regions Financial.
“Worker absenteeism, short-term shutdowns due to part shortages, and difficulties in filling open positions continue to be issues that limit manufacturing-growth potential,” said Timothy Fiore, chairman of the ISM survey.
Eurozone Inflation Surges
Eurozone inflation surged beyond the European Central Bank’s just below 2 percent target in May to hit its highest level in almost three years. Annual inflation rose to 2 percent in May from 1.6 percent in April, driven by a sharp rise in energy prices. Inflation pressures varied significantly across the region, with prices accelerating to 3.1 percent in Estonia while falling 1.1 percent in Greece.
Pressures in the manufacturing pipeline are set to push prices up further in the months ahead, eurozone manufacturing PMI data showed earlier today. Survey results, based on responses from around 3,000 companies across the region, showed that average input costs again rose substantially, with the rate of inflation hitting an unprecedented level in line with widespread product shortages.
Eurozone, UK PMI Set Records
Final IHS Markit manufacturing PMI readings for May showed activity in the euro zone hitting a record high 63.1, up from 62.9 in April and exceeding an initial flash estimate of 62.8. In the U.K., factory activity rose to 65.6 in May from 60.9 in April, its sharpest increase since records began, as a windfall of new orders drove the country’s industrial resurgence.
The European Commission on Monday proposed that vaccinated tourists should be exempted from mandatory testing or quarantine measures when travelling between EU nations, urging a progressive easing of travel restrictions to accommodate rising Covid-19 inoculations.
US COVID Update – Moderna Vaccine, Memorial Day Travel
Moderna says it has begun the process to win full U.S. regulatory approval for the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in adults. Moderna announced Tuesday it has begun a “rolling submission” to the Food and Drug Administration of data from its studies of the two-dose vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine already has been cleared for emergency use by the FDA and regulators in numerous other countries. So far, more than 124 million doses have been administered in the United States.
The Memorial Day weekend produced the two busiest days for U.S. air travel since early March 2020. About 1.96 million people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints on Friday, and 1.90 million did so on Monday, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
NYS Vaccine Update – 57.1% of NYS Adults Completely Vaccinated
As of Tuesday morning 10,715,113 (plus 14,738 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 9,143,552 are fully vaccinated (Plus 23,828). In the Hudson Valley 1,138,809 (plus 1,455) have at least one dose and 958,144 (plus 2,229) are fully vaccinated.
- Read the press release
- Read the scholarship press release
- Visit the vaccine tracker site
- Make an appointment
NYS COVID Update – 7-Day Average Percent Positive 0.65%
The Governor updated COVID data through Monday May 31st. There were 8 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,723. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 1,032
- Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: Not Reported
Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:
- Statewide 0.65%
- Mid-Hudson: 0.60%
- Read the press release
- See the School Districts Dashboard
- See the SUNY Dashboard
- State Vaccine Information Site
Job Searches Rise in States Ending Extended and Enhanced Unemployment Benefits
The threat of losing unemployment benefits in two dozen states had a modest but short-lived effect on job search activity, according to an analysis published Thursday by job site Indeed. At least 24 states have announced their early withdrawal from pandemic-era unemployment programs since early May.
Job searches jumped by 5% the day each state announced its intent to pull out of the federal programs, according to Indeed data. (The increase is an average relative to the national trend.)
Covid-19 Treatment From Vir, GlaxoSmithKline Is Authorized
A monoclonal antibody drug to treat early Covid-19 infections has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Vir Biotechnology Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC, makers of the drug. The drug, called sotrovimab, is the third antibody medicine authorized to treat patients early in the course of disease who are at high risk of developing severe cases.
Vir and Glaxo said in March that a study of the drug had been stopped early because it was shown to be highly effective, reducing hospitalizations or death by 85%, compared with a placebo.
WHO and Variant Names
Naming new COVID variants after countries can lead to stigmatization, and normal humans can’t remember the numbers and dots, so the WHO has come up with a new naming system, based on Greek letters, with the sequence matching the order of discovery. Here’s the guide: U.K./B.1.1.7 is now the Alpha variant, South Africa/B.1.351 is now Beta, Brazil/P.1 is now Gamma, and India/B.1.617.2 is now Delta.
The decision to go for this naming system came after months of deliberations with experts considering a range of other possibilities such as Greek Gods, according to bacteriologist Mark Pallen who was involved in the talks.
H-1B Visa Process Faces Scrutiny and Uncertainty
The overall number of H-1B applications appears to be up this year. Those who submitted lottery registrations but have not been notified of results can continue to hold out hope: USCIS has indicated potential for many of the allotted numbers going unused (due to denials and even some who may have violated the prohibition against filing more than one registration by each employer per worker). An announcement of a second-chance drawing from the pool of March applicants is expected soon; last year, it was held in July.
Further, there are reasons to believe there could be changes going forward. The 2020 ban on H1-B skilled workers and certain other temporary visas has expired, an encouraging sign for the H1-B program overall.
Boeing Halts 787 Deliveries as FAA Considers Inspection Methods
Boeing said Friday it was working to address questions about its 787 Dreamliner from US air safety regulators after again suspending new deliveries of the jet.
The questions concern the inspection method for new planes following production problems that led to an earlier pause in deliveries. With approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing had resumed deliveries of the widebody Dreamliner in March after a five-month halt.
Top IT Security Terms Everyone Should Know
It’s every business user’s responsibility to protect their computers and data from cyberattacks. The good news is that you don’t need to be an IT security expert to keep them safe. You can start increasing your knowledge by learning some of these basic cybersecurity terms.
China Allows its Citizens to Have a Third Child
China’s government had persuaded its married couples that “one child is enough”. Then, in 2016, it allowed parents to give birth to a second. Now they may at last have a third. On May 31st, at a meeting of the ruling Politburo led by Xi Jinping, the country’s most senior officials decreed that a further relaxation of birth-control regulations would help China to fulfil its goal of “actively coping with an ageing population”.
The Communist Party still struggles to admit that its birth-control policies have been ill-conceived. From the 1970s, most of China’s decline in fertility was caused by urbanization, education campaigns and women’s greater participation in the workforce—the same forces that caused declines in other developing countries that had no brutally enforced birth quotas. China has also ended up with at least 30m more men than women because of sex-selective abortions and even infanticide to which some desperate parents resorted under the one-child policy.