Tuesday, June 05, 2012

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates slightly faster expansion in May

by Bill McBride on 6/05/2012 10:00:00 AM

The May ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 53.7%, up from 53.5% in April. The employment index decreased in May to 50.8%, down from 54.2% in April - the lowest level since November 2011. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

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

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in May for the 29th 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 53.7 percent in May, 0.2 percentage point higher than the 53.5 percent registered in April. This indicates continued growth this month at a slightly faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 55.6 percent, which is 1 percentage point higher than the 54.6 percent reported in April, reflecting growth for the 34th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 2 percentage points to 55.5 percent, and the Employment Index decreased by 3.4 percentage points to 50.8 percent, indicating continued growth in employment at a slower rate. The Prices Index decreased 3.8 percentage points to 49.8 percent, indicating lower month-over-month prices for the first time since July 2009. According to the NMI, 13 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in May. The majority of the respondents' comments are positive and optimistic about business conditions and the direction of the economy."
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 above the consensus forecast of 53.5% and indicates faster expansion in May than in April.