Manufacturing slowed in November, Shopping season down from last year and more claims tied to General Motors (GM) recall

Bourbon & Bayonets / Monday, December 1st, 2014

Markets were heading lower on Monday after manufacturing data slowed slightly in November. The Institute for Supply Management said that their November reading of national factory activity dropped to 58.7. This followed a three and a half year high in October of 59. Despite the drop, any reading above the 50 level indicates that the index is expanding. Joel Naroff, chief economist with Naroff Economic Advisors, said, “The world economy may be faltering, but that is not stopping the U.S. economy from improving.” There are 18 industries surveyed for the report and of them 14 reported growth in their sector. The data also outperformed economists’ expectations of a 58 reading.

In a separate report, the National Retail Federation announced that this year’s big shopping weekend slowed from last year. The company said that shoppers spent 6.4% less over Thanksgiving weekend than they did this time last year. Costumers spent less on average as well. On average shoppers spent $380.95 at stores, which was also less than the $407.02 this time last year. Total spending was down roughly 11% to $50.9 billion throughout the holiday weekend. Shelley Kohan, vice president of RetailNext, said, “”Sales on Black Friday were very disappointing but retailers managed to drive a lot of people to their websites early on which helps us remain optimistic about the overall holiday season.”

Shares of General Motors (GM) were sinking as new claims continue to roll in and another possible death tied to their ignition switch recall. The company has been under pressure because they waited 11 years to announce a recall of over 2 million vehicles that had ignition-switch problems, which was directly linked to several deaths. The recall has totaled 2.6 million vehicles and as of December 1, the company has received 2,215 claims that included both injuries and deaths. GM has started a program that would compensate those affected by accidents that were linked to the malfunction. As of now, there are a total of 36 deaths that have been approved and eligible to be compensated.

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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