Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stat of the Day: ISM Services + Manufacturing Hits 3 Year High

Today the ISM Services index was reported at 50.5 which showed growth but it was disappointing with expectations at 51. Not exactly a meaningful miss, but one non the less which I think enforced some fears that the economy is stalling. Ok, it went from contracting to growing in January so that doesn't really jive.

Good analysis of the ISM report from First Trust. They feel strongly that the Business Activity indicator at 52.2 is a better indicator of the sector then the sentiment induced headline number of 50.5.

Bespoke has a nice chart today averaging the 2 ISM indexes. Since Manufacturing as been very strong, it shows how the combined numbers tell a different story then what the market seems to think. A picture is always worth 1,000 words when it comes to economic data.

The average ISM came in at 54.5 for January a number not seen since summer 2006. Its also worth noting that the 2004 recovery saw a number hit the 60s and that was after a mild recession where the numbers hardly dipped into the upper 40s. We're likely to see multiple months averaging the 60s once the Service sector heats up. Oh, and note the V shaped recovery. Hmmm!


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