Wednesday, January 06, 2016

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Decreased to 55.3% in December

by Bill McBride on 1/06/2016 10:05:00 AM

The December ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 55.3%, down from 55.9% in November. The employment index increased in December to 55.7%, up from 55.0% in November. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

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

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in December for the 71st 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 55.3 percent in December, 0.6 percentage point lower than the November reading of 55.9 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly slower rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 58.7 percent, which is 0.5 percentage point higher than the November reading of 58.2 percent, reflecting growth for the 77th consecutive month at a slightly faster rate. The New Orders Index registered 58.2 percent, 0.7 percentage point higher than the reading of 57.5 percent in November. The Employment Index increased 0.7 percentage point to 55.7 percent from the November reading of 55 percent and indicates growth for the 22nd consecutive month. The Prices Index decreased 0.6 percentage point from the November reading of 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent, indicating prices decreased in December for the third time in the last four months. According to the NMI®, 11 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in December. Faster deliveries in December contributed to the overall slight slowing in the rate of growth according to the NMI® composite index. All of the other component indexes increased in the month of December. The majority of respondents’ comments remain 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 below the consensus forecast of 56.5 and suggests slightly slower expansion in December than in November.  Still a solid report.