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The ISM Manufacturing Index is headed for a marginal decline to 50.5 in Monday's February update (scheduled for release on March 3), based on our median econometric forecast. By comparison, the index was estimated at 51.3 in the January report. Meanwhile, our average projection is moderately below a consensus forecast drawn from a survey of economists.

Here's a closer look at the numbers, followed by brief summaries of the methodologies behind our projections:

VAR-1: A vector autoregression model that analyzes the history of industrial production in context with the ISM Manufacturing Index. The forecasts are run in R with the "vars" package.

VAR-6: A vector autoregression model that analyzes six economic time series in context with the ISM Manufacturing Index. The six additional series: industrial production, private non-farm payrolls, index of weekly hours worked, US stock market (S&P 500), spot oil prices, and the Treasury yield spread (10 year Note less 3-month T-bill). The forecasts are run in R with the "vars" package.

ARIMA: An autoregressive integrated moving average model that analyzes the historical record of the ISM Manufacturing Index in R via the "forecast" package.

ES: An exponential smoothing model that analyzes the historical record of the ISM Manufacturing Index in R via the "forecast" package.

Source: ISM Manufacturing Index: February 2014 Preview