Last Update: 21-May-15 17:41 ET
- The ISM Manufacturing Index was unchanged and remained at 51.5 in April. The Briefing.com Consensus expected the ISM Manufacturing Index to increase to 51.9.
- Even though the overall index did not strengthen as the consensus expected, the key production and order readings showed improvement.
- The Production Index increased to 56.0 in April from 53.8 in March. The New Orders Index increased to 53.5 from 51.8. Order backlogs remained at 49.5, its second consecutive monthly contraction.
- The only real disappointing reading was the Employment Index, which slipped into a contraction in April. The related index fell to 48.3 from 50.0.
- 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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