ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Highest Since 2007
"Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in February for the second consecutive month, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. In February, the Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) registered 53 percent, indicating growth in the non-manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month. A reading above 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting.
The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased 2.6% to 54.8%, reflecting growth for the third consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased 0.3% to 55%, and the Employment Index increased 4% to 48.6%. The Prices Index decreased 0.8% to 60.4% in February, indicating an increase in prices paid from January. According to the NMI, nine non-manufacturing industries reported growth in February."
According to Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein:
"The V-shaped recovery started earlier in the manufacturing sector but the service sector is now getting on board. The ISM Services index hit 53 in February despite a record blizzard on the East Coast and unusually large snowfall in the Midwest. The business activity index, which has an even stronger statistical link with real GDP growth than the overall index, rose to 54.8, the highest level since October 2007."