Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ISM Non-Manufacturing Slows in March

The ISM’s non-manufacturing index fell in March to 56.0 from 57.3 reported in February. While the index remained above contractionary levels, this is the first time this year the index has slowed and is at its lowest level since December. The more than expected decline is not too worrisome as the details remain mixed.

Both employment and inventory indices rose in March. Employment rose to 56.7 in March from 55.7. While inventory rose to 54.0 from 53.5 in February.

The business activity and new orders indices both fell. The business activity index fell to 58.9 from 62.6 in February. New orders fell to 58.8, from a high of 61.2 in February.

Supplier deliveries stayed constant at 49.5 in March, after the index fell in February to the first contraction level since September.

The trade details were negative in February as well, with the export index falling 2 points to 52.5. Much of this is likely due to decreased demand from Europe.

Read the report.

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