Thursday, November 03, 2011

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates expansion in October

by Bill McBride on 11/03/2011 10:00:00 AM

The October ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 52.9%, down slightly from 53.0% in September. The employment index increased in October to 53.3%, up from 48.7% in September. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

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

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in October for the 23rd 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 52.9 percent in October, 0.1 percentage point lower than the 53 percent registered in September, and indicating continued growth at a slightly slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased 3.3 percentage points to 53.8 percent, reflecting growth for the 27th consecutive month. The New Orders Index decreased by 4.1 percentage points to 52.4 percent. The Employment Index increased 4.6 percentage points to 53.3 percent, indicating growth in employment after one month of contraction. The Prices Index decreased 4.8 percentage points to 57.1 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in October when compared to September. According to the NMI, eight non-manufacturing industries reported growth in October. Even though there is month-over-month growth in the Employment Index, respondents are still expressing concern over available labor resources and job growth. The continued strong push for inventory reduction by supply management professionals has resulted in contraction in the Inventories Index for the first time in eight months. Respondents' comments are mixed and reflect concern about future business conditions."
emphasis added
ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Click on graph for larger image.

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

This was slightly below the consensus forecast of 53.0% and indicates slightly slower expansion in October than in September. The employment index indicated expansion in October following contraction in September.