October 3, 2012

ISM and ADP Reports Show Increases and Beat Expectations

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 3:36 pm

First, from the Institute for Supply Management:

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September for the 33rd consecutive month …

“The NMI™ registered 55.1 percent in September, 1.4 percentage points higher than the 53.7 percent registered in August. This indicates continued growth this month at a faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 59.9 percent, which is 4.3 percentage points higher than the 55.6 percent reported in August, reflecting growth for the 38th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 4 percentage points to 57.7 percent. The Employment Index decreased by 2.7 percentage points to 51.1 percent, indicating growth in employment for the second consecutive month but at a slower rate. The Prices Index increased 3.8 percentage points to 68.1 percent, indicating higher month-over-month prices when compared to August. According to the NMI™, 12 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in September. Respondents’ comments continue to be mixed; however, the majority indicate a slightly more positive perspective on current business conditions.”

Business Insider’s email predicted a slight decline to 53.5.

The same anomaly found in the Manufacturing Index on Monday is in the NMI report, namely that Order Backlog went into contraction while New Orders went into stronger expansion.

Despite the answers to questions asked a couple of years ago, I’m reserving some skepticism on the strength of this reading.

Now, to ADP’s employment report:

Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 162,000 from August to September, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated gains in previous months were revised lower: the July increase was reduced by 17,000 to an increase of 156,000, while the August increase was reduced by 12,000 to an increase of 189,000. Employment in the private, service-providing sector expanded 144,000 in September, down from 175,000 in August. Employment in the private, goods-producing sector added 18,000 jobs in September. Manufacturing employment rose 4,000, while construction employment rose 10,000, the strongest since March when mild winter weather was boosting construction activity. The financial services sector added 7,000 jobs in September, marking the fourteenth consecutive monthly gain.

Business Insider’s email had a prediction of 140,000. I don’t recall seeing a previous-month revisions as large as the combined 29,000 (17K plus 12K) reported today for July and August.

The consensus before this report came out was for 100,000 job additions to be the Friday employment report reading. It will be interesting to see if the pre-release revisions go up or stay the same.

Politico Pair: ‘If (Cooked) Polls (With 91% Non-completion Rates) Hold Steady,’ ‘Obama Will Have Another Four Years’

In an item which talks about a “secret retreat” planned by eight senators which is so “secret” that it’s getting a two-page story, the Politico’s John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman write that “If polls stay steady, (House Speaker John) Boehner will be at the helm of a House filled with Republicans disappointed that Obama will have another four years in the White House.”

Uh, last time I checked, pollsters’ results can hold steady or go in whatever cooked or uncooked directions they wish, and they still won’t determine the outcome of the election. Ballots by voters and the presumably accurate inclusion and counting of such ballots will. Besides, as will be shown, there are even more valid reasons to question poll results now than in the past. Several paragraphs from the rest of B&S’s BS, which is apparently designed to get the country ready to accept “revenue” (i.e., tax) increases, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post).


Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100312)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:10 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Running With Someone Else’s Lungs

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 7:05 am

From Louisiana (photo montage at link; HT Daryn Kagan):

updated 7:07 AM EDT, Wed October 3, 2012

Justin Legg could dead-lift a washing machine and carry it across the street. He could swim miles on end and run a marathon on one day’s notice.

The former Navy SEAL stayed in top shape because his life — and the lives of his teammates — depended on it.

But when his physical strength deteriorated in a fight against cancer, Legg had to rely on his mental fortitude to carry him through four years of excruciating pain, a bone marrow transplant and two collapsed lungs.

Finally back on his feet, Legg now has a new mission. He’s relearning to run, one step at a time, in honor of the 19-year-old boy who saved his life.

The pain started in his ribs. Legg brushed it off, figuring a martial arts fight had gotten the best of him.

He and his new wife, Suzanne, were enjoying their first few months of marital bliss in Louisiana. He was rebuilding their house — the one that Hurricane Katrina had destroyed — in between training at a military base in Mississippi.

But the pain persisted and his workouts soon started to suffer.

“For me it was pretty easy to run 10, 15 miles,” Legg says. “Suddenly I couldn’t run five. I got to three and my legs just ground to a halt.”

In June 2006, shortly before his 28th birthday, Legg’s doctor called and told him that his white blood cell count was elevated. The military sent Legg to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to get checked out.

The diagnosis: acute lymphoblastic leukemia.