2012 Economic Calendar
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ISM Non-Mfg Index  
Released On 1/5/2012 10:00:00 AM For Dec, 2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Composite Index - Level52.0 53.4 52.0  to 57.5 52.6 

Highlights
No better than mild conditions is the continuing signal from the ISM's non-manufacturing report where the composite edged only six tenths higher to 52.6, a bit below expectations for 53.4 and indicating only mild month-to-month growth in general business conditions. New orders, at 53.2, are no more than moderate though they are up two tenths from November. Backlog orders are contracting more deeply, to a sub-50 level of 45.5 for a 2-1/2 point decline.

Business activity is a plus, unchanged at a solid 56.2. But part of this activity reflects the working down of backlogs where further draw is likely limited. Employment is slightly below 50 at 49.4 but is up five tenths from November in what is a very mild signal of improvement for tomorrow's employment report.

This report has been lagging strength in other indicators and is a reminder that economic growth, though likely picking up steam, is less than robust. The stock market is moving to morning lows following release of this report.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The composite index from the ISM non-manufacturing survey decelerated in November by 0.9 point to 52.0. The reading was still above 50 to indicate monthly growth in business activity but at a slightly slower rate than October. Two of the four components of the composite were behind the dip in the overall index. The employment index fell 4.4 points to a sub-50 level of 48.9 to indicate a decline in the size of the ISM sample's workforce. The supplier deliveries index slipped 2.0 points to 50.0. On the positive side, the business activity/production index gained 2.4 points to 56.2. And the new orders index advanced 0.6 point to 53.0.

Definition
The Institute For Supply Management surveys more than 375 firms from numerous sectors across the United States for its non-manufacturing index. This index covers services, construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, and fishing and hunting. The non-manufacturing composite index has four equally weighted components: business activity (closely related to a production index), new orders, employment, and supplier deliveries (also known as vendor performance). The first three components are seasonally adjusted but the supplier deliveries index does not have statistically significant seasonality and is not adjusted. For the composite index, a reading above 50 percent indicates that the non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining. The supplier deliveries component index requires extra explanation. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries and below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. However, slower deliveries are a plus for the economy -- indicating demand is up and vendors are not able to fill orders as quickly.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
The ISM non-manufacturing survey does not compile a composite index like its manufacturing cousin. The business activity index, which is actually akin to the production index in the manufacturing survey, is widely followed as the key figure from this survey.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/52/33/54/45/36/57/58/39/610/311/512/5
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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