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"Seasonally Data Dependent": Adjusted New Orders Highest In 2015; Unadjusted Lowest Since 2013

As reported earlier, the only silver lining in today's Manufacturing ISM reported which was not only released earlier after MNI broke the embargo, but a miss to expectations, had just one silver lining: New Orders rose from 56.0 to 56.5. This was also the highest New Orders print since December of 2014, and was the only bright spot in an otherwise terrible report.

Even the ISM's Holcombe was quick to praise it.

  • US ISM'S HOLCOMB: NEW ORDERS AT HIGH FOR YEAR VERY POSITIVE

However, a more than cursory look at the headline reveals something quite unpositive: the only reason they New Orders print came where it did, is due to seasonal adjustments.

As the chart below shows, which tracks the Manufacturing ISM New Orders history, while the seasonally adjusted New Orders datapoint was indeed the highest since 2015, the unadjusted, or one which merely reflects what respondents are saying even as they already factor in for seasonals (which goes back to the idiocy of seasonally adjusting a survey which is already subliminally adjusted) New Orders of 52.5 was the lowest print not only in 2015, but the lowest since December 2013.

Just to repeat because it bears repeating: the exact same data point can either be the highest since 2014 or the lowest since 2013 depending on whether one "seasonally adjusts" it.

And this is the "data" that the Fed has to work with: is it any wonder Yellen has absolutely no clue what to do?