2012 Economic Calendar
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ISM Mfg Index
Released On 3/1/2012 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
ISM Mfg Index - Level54.1 54.6 54.0  to 55.5 52.4 

Highlights
Activity in the manufacturing sector slowed in February based on the ISM's composite index which came in at 52.4, above 50 to indicate monthly growth but below January's 54.1 to indicate a slower rate of monthly growth.

New orders slowed, to 54.9 vs 57.6, as did backlogs, at 52.0 vs 52.5. Production also slowed, 55.3 vs 55.7, as did employment, at 53.2 vs 54.3. But February's rates are respectable and not that much different than January.

A speeding up in delivery times is a major factor behind the slowing in the composite index, while a big plus in the report, and a surprising plus given troubles in Europe, is a jump in new export orders to 59.5 vs 55.0. Inventory readings are lean and stable.

Rumors were swirling in the financial markets this morning that today's report would show sharp acceleration in growth, not a slowing. This report, especially following Tuesday's dramatic drop in durable goods orders, points to easing momentum for what has proven to be the backbone of the nation's economic recovery. The Dow is moving off opening highs following today's results.

Market Consensus before announcement
The composite index from the ISM manufacturing survey in January rose to 54.1, 1.0 point over December to indicate a slightly faster rate of expansion. A key highlight of the report was the new orders index which rose 2.8 points to 57.6 to indicate a little bit more than just a moderate rate of monthly expansion. In another positive, backlog orders increased 4.5 points to show a build at 52.5.

Definition
The ISM manufacturing composite index 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 transformed into a diffusion index which is calculated by adding the percentage of positive responses to one-half of the unchanged responses.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
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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