Slower contraction for the ISM Non-Mfg Index

The latest ISM Non-Manufacturing Index that came out today reports:

“The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 43.7 percent in April, 2.9 percentage points higher than the 40.8 percent registered in March, indicating contraction in the non-manufacturing sector for the seventh consecutive month, but at a slower rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased 1.1 percentage points to 45.2 percent. The New Orders Index increased 8.2 percentage points to 47 percent, and the Employment Index increased 4.7 percentage points to 37 percent. The Prices Index increased 0.9 percentage point to 40 percent in April, indicating a slightly slower decrease in prices from March. According to the NMI, seven non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April. Respondents’ comments are mixed and they vary by company and industry about economic conditions.”

Some more from the report that caught my eye:

On new orders:

Comments from respondents include: “Increase in projects being started”; “Projected higher sales due to promotions”; and “Less demand, business trends down.”

On employment:

ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Employment Index for April registered 37 percent. This reflects an increase of 4.7 percentage points when compared to the 32.3 percent registered in March.

The industries reporting an increase in employment in April are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Mining; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; and Retail Trade. The industries reporting a reduction in employment in April — listed in order — are: Educational Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Information; Public Administration; Utilities; Accommodation & Food Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Finance & Insurance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Transportation & Warehousing.

Sounds good.

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