The March ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 53.1%, up from 51.6% in February. The employment index increased in March to 53.6%, up from 47.5% in February. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.
Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 50th 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. "TheNMI® registered 53.1 percentinMarch, 1.5 percentagepointshigherthanFebruary’sreadingof 51.6 percent. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 53.4 percent, which is 1.2 percentage points lower than the reading of 54.6 percent reported in February, reflecting growth for the 56th consecutive month but at a slower rate. The New OrdersIndexregistered 53.4 percent, 2.1 percentagepointshigherthanthereadingof 51.3 percentregisteredinFebruary. The EmploymentIndexincreased 6.1 percentagepointsto 53.6 percent from the February reading of 47.5 percent and indicates substantial growth after one month of contraction. The Prices Index increased 4.6 percentage points from the February reading of 53.7 percent to 58.3 percent, indicating prices increased at a faster rate in March when compared to February. According to the NMI®, 13 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in March. Despite the affects of weather on many of the respective businesses, the majority of respondents indicate that business conditions are improving. The respondents also project better business activity and economic conditions as weather conditions continue to improve."
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 below the consensus forecast of 53.5% and indicates faster expansion in March than in February.
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