Monday, March 5, 2007

ISM Decreases But Still Expansive

From the ISM:

"Non-manufacturing business activity increased for the 47th consecutive month in February," Nieves said. He added, "Business Activity and New Orders increased at a slower rate in February than in January. Employment increased at a faster rate than in January. The Prices Index decreased 1.4 percentage points this month to 53.8 percent. Nine non-manufacturing industries reported increased activity in February. Members' comments in February are mixed concerning current business conditions. The overall indication in February is continued economic growth in the non-manufacturing sector, but at a slower pace than in January."

Overall business activity decreased, but any reading above 50 is considered a sign of expansion.

New orders and the backlog of orders decreased slightly, but far from an alarming rate. The decrease could be accounted for as pure statistical noise.

New export orders increased faster than new import orders. While the US still has an incredibly long way to go until it deals with the trade imbalance, any possible sign of improvement is a good thing.