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Today's release of the ISM Non-Manufacturing report for November came in better than expected (54.7 vs. 53.5) and was the best level since March. Combining both the ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing reports based on their weights in the economy, the combined reading came in at 54.1, which is a modest increase from last month's reading of 53.7.

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The chart below breaks down ISM Non-Manufacturing based on each of its 10 sub-components and compares them to their levels from last month and one-year ago. Currently, seven out of 10 components are above the 50 level, while Supplier Deliveries, Inventories, and Export Orders are the only three below 50. Relative to a month ago, six out of 10 sub-components increased, led by Import Orders and Business Activity. Prices saw the biggest decline from 65.6 down to 57.0.

Given the volatility that we see in the Prices component, this month's decline was only the largest since April. The employment component saw the second- largest decline during the month, and while that component fell by considerably less than Prices Paid (4.6 vs. 8.6), it was the largest decline for the Employment component since March 2009. Relative to one year ago, even though the headline index increased from 52.6 to 54.7, only four components of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased relative to a year ago.

Click here for charts of each component.

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Source: ISM Services Surprises To The Upside