2012 Economic Calendar
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ISM Mfg Index  
Released On 5/1/2012 10:00:00 AM For Apr, 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
ISM Mfg Index - Level53.4 53.0 52.0  to 54.4 54.8 

The ISM report is bucking the trend, showing rising rates of growth vs a host of other indications that point to slowing in the manufacturing sector. The composite gain of 1.4 points to 54.8 is better than expected with strength centered right where it should be, in new orders which, at 58.2 vs 54.5, show sizably greater monthly growth. Production is strong and, importantly, manufacturers in the sample are adding significantly to their payrolls. In a surprise, export orders, despite weakness in Europe and slowing in China, are very strong and accelerating.

Other details show a slight destocking in inventories which is welcome and points to the need for future orders in order to replenish inventories. Prices paid do remain elevated which is a negative for manufacturers. But overall, this report points to accelerating conditions and perhaps new leadership for the manufacturing sector, leadership that however will have to be confirmed by hard government data. The Dow is moving to opening highs following today's report.

Consensus Outlook
The composite index from the ISM manufacturing survey in March rose one full point to 53.4, notably above of 50 to indicate monthly growth and slightly above February to indicate an increasing rate of growth. New orders, the most important detail in the report, softened very slightly to a still respectable 54.5 which is four tenths below February.

The manufacturing composite index from the Institute For Supply Management is a diffusion index calculated from five of the eleven sub-components of a monthly survey of purchasing managers at roughly 300 manufacturing firms nationwide. The survey queries purchasing managers about the general direction of production, new orders, order backlogs, their own inventories, customer inventories, employment, supplier deliveries, exports, imports, and prices. The five components of the composite index are new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories (their own, not customer inventories). The five components are equally weighted. The questions are qualitative rather than quantitative; that is, they ask about the general direction rather than the specific level of activity. Each question is adjusted into a diffusion index which is calculated by adding the percentage of positive responses to one-half of the unchanged responses.  Why Investors Care
The ISM manufacturing index (formerly known as the NAPM Survey) is constructed so that any level at 50 or above signifies growth in the manufacturing sector. A level above 43 or so, but below 50, indicates that the U.S. economy is still growing even though the manufacturing sector is contracting. Any level below 43 indicates that the economy is in recession.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/32/13/14/25/16/17/28/19/410/111/112/3
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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