If you were looking for more evidence that the harsh winter in the United States was a big factor behind the economic weakness of the last few months, this morning's ISM Non-Manufacturing report for April was right up your alley. While economists were forecasting the headline reading to come in at a level of 54.1, the actual reading was 55.2, which was the best level since August. With both April ISM's now in the books, on a combined basis accounting for each sector's share of the total economy, the April ISM was 55.2, which was the best reading since October.
Looking at the internals also shows a relatively positive report. Of the report's ten components, seven increased this month, while just three declined. Some of the more notable increases were in Business Activity and New Orders, both of which rose to their best levels since August. Compared to a year ago, the numbers were less positive, as there was an even split between components that are higher versus lower relative to a year ago.