The February non-manufacturing ISM index is 53%.
While this is the best showing since the start of this recession, it's still, fairly lukewarm since the index neutral point is 50.
The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 53 percent in February, 2.5 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted 50.5 percent registered in January, indicating growth in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased 2.6 percentage points to 54.8 percent, reflecting growth for the third consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased 0.3 percentage point to 55 percent, and the Employment Index increased 4 percentage points to 48.6 percent. The Prices Index decreased 0.8 percentage point to 60.4 percent in February, indicating an increase in prices paid from January.
|ISM NON-MANUFACTURING SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE
|Backlog of Orders||46.0||45.5||+0.5||Contracting||Slower||4|
|New Export Orders||47.0||46.0||+1.0||Contracting||Slower||3|
|Inventory Sentiment||60.0||64.5||-4.5||Too High||Slower||153|
Above new orders only increased 0.3% from last month, which implies we do not have some rocket expansion in the non-manufacturing sector. Remember, 50 is the breaking point between expansion and contraction. Below, the employment survey results are normalized to this breaking point to show employment in the NMI is still in contraction.
While this is the best report in some time, it still is showing fairly sluggish growth and not the jump for joy report some are interpreting it to be. It's more they didn't expect NMI to come in this high.