Thursday, May 03, 2012

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates slower expansion in April

by Bill McBride on 5/03/2012 10:00:00 AM

The April ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 53.5%, down from 56.0% in March. The employment index decreased in April to 54.2%, down from 56.7% in March. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

From the Institute for Supply Management: March 2012 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in April for the 28th 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 53.5 percent in April, 2.5 percentage points lower than the 56 percent registered in March. This indicates continued growth this month, but at a slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 54.6 percent, which is 4.3 percentage points lower than the 58.9 percent reported in March, reflecting growth for the 33rd consecutive month. The New Orders Index decreased by 5.3 percentage points to 53.5 percent, and the Employment Index decreased by 2.5 percentage points to 54.2 percent, indicating continued growth in employment at a slower rate. The Prices Index decreased 10.3 percentage points to 53.6 percent, indicating prices increased at a significantly slower rate in April when compared to March. According to the NMI, 15 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April. Respondents' comments affirm the slowing rate of growth. In addition, they remain concerned about rising fuel costs and the impact on shipping, transportation and petroleum-based product costs."
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 55.9% and indicates slower expansion in April than in March.

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