2011 Economic Calendar
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ISM Mfg Index  
Released On 3/1/2011 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
ISM Mfg Index - Level60.8 60.5 58.7  to 62.0 61.4 

Month-to-month acceleration in both the employment and production components lead the ISM manufacturing report which shows exceptionally robust strength in February. The composite headline index rose more than a 1/2 point to a 61.4 level that matches the best strength of the last expansion.

The employment index, at 64.5 for a nearly three point monthly gain, is at its best levels since the early 70s. The recent surge in this index has accurately signaled underlying manufacturing payroll growth in the government's monthly employment report. Manufacturing employment has been a central strength of the jobs market.

This report is filled with superlatives including accelerating gains at strong levels for new orders, new export orders, and backlog orders. Lengthening delivery times are another indication of strong activity as is concern among respondents that their customer inventories are too low.

The manufacturing sector has re-emerged as a center of the nation's strength and its economic recovery. But the one factor that clouds this report is the ongoing spike in oil prices, threatening to increase already very high input prices.

Consensus Outlook
The composite index from the ISM manufacturing survey jumped 2.3 points to a rare plus 60 reading at 60.8 for the highest reading since May 2004 when the index registered 61.4 percent. The new orders index led the gain, jumping 5.8 points to 67.8-a reading that points to likely strength ahead for the composite index. The other four components of the composite also showed month-to-month acceleration including employment which is also in rare territory at 61.7 for a nearly two-point gain and the first plus-60 reading in seven years.

The manufacturing composite index from the Institute For Supply Management is a diffusion index calculated from five of the eleven sub-components of a monthly survey of purchasing managers at roughly 300 manufacturing firms nationwide. The survey queries purchasing managers about the general direction of production, new orders, order backlogs, their own inventories, customer inventories, employment, supplier deliveries, exports, imports, and prices. The five components of the composite index are new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories (their own, not customer inventories). The five components are equally weighted. The questions are qualitative rather than quantitative; that is, they ask about the general direction rather than the specific level of activity. Each question is adjusted into a diffusion index which is calculated by adding the percentage of positive responses to one-half of the unchanged responses.  Why Investors Care
The ISM manufacturing index (formerly known as the NAPM Survey) is constructed so that any level at 50 or above signifies growth in the manufacturing sector. A level above 43 or so, but below 50, indicates that the U.S. economy is still growing even though the manufacturing sector is contracting. Any level below 43 indicates that the economy is in recession.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/32/13/14/15/26/17/18/19/110/311/112/1
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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