Wednesday, May 04, 2011

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates sharply slower expansion in April

by Bill McBride on 5/04/2011 10:00:00 AM

The April ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 52.8%, down from 57.3% in March. The employment index indicated slower expansion in April at 51.9%, down from 53.7% in March. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the ISM non-manufacturing index (started in January 2008) and the ISM non-manufacturing employment diffusion index.

From the Institute for Supply Management: April 2011 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in April for the 17th consecutive month, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The NMI registered 52.8 percent in April, 4.5 percentage points lower than the 57.3 percent registered in March, and indicating continued growth at a slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased 6 percentage points to 53.7 percent, reflecting growth for the 21st consecutive month, but at a slower rate than in March. The New Orders Index decreased substantially by 11.4 percentage points to 52.7 percent. The Employment Index decreased 1.8 percentage points to 51.9 percent, indicating growth in employment for the eighth consecutive month, but at a slower rate. The Prices Index decreased 2 percentage points to 70.1 percent, indicating that prices increased at a slightly slower rate in April when compared to March. According to the NMI, 17 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April. Respondents' comments are mixed about overall business conditions; however, they are mostly positive. Respondents' comments also indicate concern over rising fuel costs, commodity costs and the lingering uncertainty about the economy."
emphasis added
This was well below expectations of 58.0%.

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