There has been a growing awareness among investors in the last several days that the horrible weather we saw in January would have a negative impact on economic data. That being said, expectations were certainly not lowered anywhere close to enough as today's ISM Manufacturing report still managed to miss expectations by one of its widest margins since 1999. While economists were forecasting the headline reading to come in at a level of 56.0, the actual reading was 51.3. The only other time where the ISM Manufacturing report missed expectations by a wider margin than today was in the report for September 2008 (released 10/1/08).
The table below lists the current levels of each component of the ISM Manufacturing report relative to last month and last year. This month's report was the worst of both worlds as not only did the headline report miss expectations by a wide margin, but Prices Paid was one of the only two components that saw an increase this month. Additionally, the two components that saw the largest decline this month were New Orders and Production. Compared to this time last year, although the headline reading is lower now than it was then, seven out of ten components are higher now than they were then.