USA Economy The services sector index (NMI) slowed to a 4-month low of 53.5 and fell below the 12-month average (54.1). Services are still expanding, but at a slower rate, and have grown for 33 consecutive months (since August 2009). The NMI has decreased a significant -3.8 the past 2 months. Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said, “Respondents’ comments affirm the slowing rate of growth. In addition, they remain concerned about rising fuel costs and the impact on shipping, transportation and petroleum-based product costs”. Both new orders and employment are growing at a slower rate.
ISM Monthly Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) The April 2012 NMI decreased -2.5 to 53.5, the 2nd consecutive monthly decrease, and the largest monthly decrease since March 2011 (-2.7). The NMI reached a Post-Great Recession peak of 59.0 in February 2011. The Great Recession low was 37.6 in November 2008. A reading greater than 50 indicates services sector expansion.
The 15 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in April: Retail Trade; Information; Construction; Management of Companies & Support Services; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Educational Services; Finance & Insurance; Accommodation & Food Services; Wholesale Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; Other Services; Public Administration; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance. The 3 industries reporting contraction in April are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Utilities; and Mining.