Wednesday, February 04, 2015

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased to 56.7% in January

by Bill McBride on 2/04/2015 10:09:00 AM

The January ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 56.7%, up from 56.5% in December. The employment index decreased in January to 51.6%, down from 55.7% in December. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

From the Institute for Supply Management: January 2015 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in January for the 60th 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, CPSM, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The NMI® registered 56.7 percent in January, 0.2 percentage point higher than the December reading of 56.5 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 61.5 percent, which is 2.9 percentage points higher than the December reading of 58.6 percent, reflecting growth for the 66th consecutive month at a faster rate. The New Orders Index registered 59.5 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than the reading of 59.2 percent registered in December. The Employment Index decreased 4.1 percentage points to 51.6 percent from the December reading of 55.7 percent and indicates growth for the eleventh consecutive month. The Prices Index decreased 4.3 percentage points from the December reading of 49.8 percent to 45.5 percent, indicating prices contracted in January when compared to December. According to the NMI®, eight non-manufacturing industries reported growth in January. Comments from respondents vary by industry and company; however, they are mostly positive and/or reflect stability about 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 close to the consensus forecast of 56.5% and suggests slightly faster expansion in January than in December.  The sharp decline in the employment index is a little concerning.