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ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates slower expansion in March

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The March ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 54.4%, down from 56.0% in February. The employment index decreased in March to 53.3%, down from 57.2% in February. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

From the Institute for Supply Management: March 2013 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 39th 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, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The NMI™ registered 54.4 percent in March, 1.6 percentage points lower than the 56 percent registered in February. This indicates continued growth at a slightly slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 56.5 percent, which is 0.4 percentage point lower than the 56.9 percent reported in February, reflecting growth for the 44th consecutive month. The New Orders Index decreased by 3.6 percentage points to 54.6 percent, and the Employment Index decreased 3.9 percentage points to 53.3 percent, indicating growth in employment for the eighth consecutive month. The Prices Index decreased 5.8 percentage points to 55.9 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in March when compared to February. According to the NMI™, 15 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in March. The majority of respondents’ comments continue to be positive about business conditions; however, there is an underlying concern regarding the uncertainty of the future economy.”
emphasis added

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index 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 below the consensus forecast of 56.0% and indicates slower expansion in March than in February.
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