Monday, April 06, 2015

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index decreased to 56.5% in March

by Bill McBride on 4/06/2015 10:05:00 AM

The March ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 56.5%, down from 56.9% in February. The employment index increased in March to 56.6%, up slightly from 56.4% in February. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

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

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 62nd 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 56.5 percent in March, 0.4 percentage point lower than the February reading of 56.9 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 57.5 percent, which is 1.9 percentage points lower than the February reading of 59.4 percent, reflecting growth for the 68th consecutive month at a slower rate. The New Orders Index registered 57.8 percent, 1.1 percentage points higher than the reading of 56.7 percent registered in February. The Employment Index increased 0.2 percentage point to 56.6 percent from the February reading of 56.4 percent and indicates growth for the 13th consecutive month. The Prices Index increased 2.7 percentage points from the February reading of 49.7 percent to 52.4 percent, indicating prices increased in March after three consecutive months of decreasing. According to the NMI®, 14 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in March. The majority of respondents’ comments reflect stability and are mostly positive about business conditions and the overall economy."
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 56.7% and suggests slightly slower expansion in March than in February.  Overall this was a solid report.