Forex: How Manufacturing PMI Impacts the Forex Market

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The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is an excellent leading or advanced macroeconomic indicator, which is used widely to predict economic expansion or contractions. It has a variety of applications for investors, economists, traders alike. It is a significant indicator to predict GDP, employment, and inflation in the upcoming periods. Hence, understanding of Manufacturing PMI can be hugely beneficial for a trader’s fundamental analysis.

What is  Manufacturing PMI?

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index is a survey of about 400 largest manufacturers in the United States of America. The word Manufacturing here implies that the study is associated with the industries that produce physical goods. Non-physical goods come into the category of Services Purchasing Managers Index, which is different.

Purchasing Managers in a company are the employees associated with procuring the raw materials, goods, and services that are required for running the company. For example, A car manufacturing company’s Purchasing Manager would typically be in charge of procuring nuts and bolts at the lowest or best prices from the market. The Purchasing Manager’s in this sense have a good idea of what the company requires and during what periods these requirements are set to increase or decrease.

How is the Manufacturing PMI calculated?

The Manufacturing PMI hence is a compilation of the survey answers given by the Purchasing Managers of the largest 300 manufacturing giants in the USA. The questions typically involve asked in the survey are related to month-over-month changes in the New orders, Production, Employment, Deliveries, and Inventories with equal weightage, as shown in the table below:

All the five categories, as seen when putting together, form the PMI. These five components are enough to ascertain a growth or contraction in the business activity of that company.

The Manufacturing PMI rating lies within the range of 0-100, where a score of above 50 indicates an expansion in the economic activity in the manufacturing sector, below 50 indicates contraction and 50 indicates no change in comparison to the previous month.

How can the Manufacturing PMI Impact Currency?

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) measures the activity of the purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector. The indicator is particularly important for the manufacturing industry, which measures the growth of that sector; this eventually contributes to the growth of the economy. Therefore, the index has a direct and indirect effect on the economy. When speaking about the impact on the currency, the indicator does not cause a drastic change in volatility, but we do witness some positions being built up in the currency during the announcement.

For example, on Mar 24, 2020, Japan announced their PMI number 44.8, which is indicating an economic shrink. Let’s look at the AUD/JPY currency pair, the market is in an uptrend pointing towards weakness in the Japanese Yen. One of the reasons is that the market is expecting a subdued PMI data this time which is making the pair go higher. The only way to trade this pair is if the PMI data of Japan comes out to be very positive, which could result in a reversal and strength in the Japanese Yen. However, if the data proves to be negative, we cannot join the trend until we get a retracement.

After the PMI numbers are announced, we see a sudden surge in volatility on the upside as the data was negative for the Japanese economy. As the numbers were disappointing, traders sold the Japanese Yen and took the price higher. A strong bullish candle shows the impact of PMI data on the currency pair. From a trading point of view, one cannot enter the market for a ‘buy’ soon after the news release. By doing this, he would be chasing the market, which is against the principles of risk management.

That’s about ‘Manufacturing PMI’ and its impact on the Forex market after its news release. Trade safe and flexible.