Thursday, January 05, 2012

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates slightly faster expansion in December

by Bill McBride on 1/05/2012 10:00:00 AM

The December ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 52.6%, up from 52.0% in November. The employment index increased in December to 49.4%, up from 48.9% in November. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

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

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in December for the 25th 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 52.6 percent in December, 0.6 percentage point higher than the 52 percent registered in November, and indicating continued growth at a slightly faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 56.2 percent, which is the same reading as reported in November, reflecting growth for the 29th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 0.2 percentage point to 53.2 percent. The Employment Index increased 0.5 percentage point to 49.4 percent, indicating contraction in employment for the third time in the last four months. The Prices Index decreased 1.3 percentage points to 61.2 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in December when compared to November. According to the NMI, 11 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in December. Respondents' comments are mixed and vary by industry and company. Economic growth continues to be slowed by the lag in employment."
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 below the consensus forecast of 53.4% and indicates slightly faster expansion in December than in November.