Last Update: 02-Mar-15 10:24 ET
- The ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 52.9 in February from 53.5 in January. The Briefing.com Consensus expected the ISM Manufacturing Index to decline to 53.0.
- All of the regional manufacturing surveys declined in February and some regions reports significantly monthly contractions. Given those conditions, the overall ISM national index held up quite well.
- Production levels decelerated as the related index declined to 53.7 in February from 56.5 in January. New orders levels softened modestly, declining from 52.9 in January to 52.5 in February. However, an end to the contraction in backlogs (51.5 from 46.0) should help production growth in the near future.
- The Employment Index declined to 51.4 in February from 54.1 in January.
- This is a highly overrated index. It is merely a survey of purchasing managers. It is a diffusion index, which means that it reflects the number of people saying conditions are better compared to the number saying conditions are worse. It does not weight for size of the firm, or for the degree of better/worse. It can therefore underestimate conditions if there is a great deal of strength in a few firms. The data have thus not been either a good forecasting tool or a good read on current conditions during this business cycle. It must be recognized that the index is not hard data of any kind, but simply a survey that provides broad indications of trends.
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