August 5, 2014

ISM Non-Manufacturing Hits Highest Reading Since 2008 Inception: 58.7%, Up from 56.0% in June

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 2:53 pm

From the Institute for Supply Management (most paragraph breaks added by me):

(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in July for the 54th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The NMI® registered 58.7 percent in July, 2.7 percentage points higher than the June reading of 56 percent. This represents continued growth in the Non-Manufacturing sector. This month’s NMI® is the highest reading for the index since its inception in January 2008.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 62.4 percent, which is 4.9 percentage points higher than the June reading of 57.5 percent, reflecting growth for the 60th consecutive month at a faster rate. This is the highest reading for the index since February 2011 when the index registered 63.3 percent.

The New Orders Index registered 64.9 percent, 3.7 percentage points higher than the reading of 61.2 percent registered in June. This represents the highest reading for the New Orders Index since August 2005 when it registered 65.3 percent.

The Employment Index increased 1.6 percentage points to 56 percent from the June reading of 54.4 percent and indicates growth for the fifth consecutive month. The Prices Index decreased 0.3 percentage point from the June reading of 61.2 percent to 60.9 percent, indicating prices increased at a slightly slower rate in July when compared to June.

According to the NMI®, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in July. …

The reference to points in time before the NMI refer to the old “services index”; ISM apparently sees such comparisons as valid.

Including the old services index, according to Zero Hedge, July’s reading is the highest in 9 years.

This is very good news. It would be nice if it were more obvious that this sentiment index correlates with hard-number reality on the ground. But it really isn’t.

NewsBusted (080514)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 6:38 am

Here we go:

– John Kerry
– Gaza Cease Fire
– John Boehner
– Unemployment Rate
– Indiana Pacers’ Paul George
– Mitt Romney
– Firefighters and Climate Change
– Sarah Palin
– New York Times
– Marijuana Legalization

Best Lines:

  • “Sarah Palin has launched her own online digital TV channel. The New York Times say they look forward to not watching it, so they can give it a bad review.”
  • “Speaking of the New York Times, they just endorsed the legalization of marijuana. Be we think they just need more Americans stoned in order to take Paul Krugman seriously.”

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (080514)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Catholic artist touches hearts one Facebook pic at a time

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Sioux Falls, South Dakota (photo gallery at link):

Aug 1, 2014 / 04:03 am

If you have seen an artistic Facebook cover photo with a saint and a powerful quote, there’s a good chance it came from Cassie Pease.

The 22-year-old South Dakota native’s designs have been floating around social media and phone backgrounds for over a year now.

While Pease has always been interested in design, she did not realize her saint art would be so popular. The first composition she made was of Saint John Paul II, and she shared it on Facebook for her friends to enjoy.

“I started putting these designs on Facebook just to kind of share with my friends so they could know what I was up to,” Pease said. “About a week later I checked it and it had over 300 shares…and I was just astonished.”

Growing up, Pease said she enjoyed creating designs with characters from movies and T.V. shows. While attending college for graphic design in Sioux Falls, her art began reflecting her growing faith.

“I started falling more in love with Jesus and the Catholic Church, so for different projects I would do things for the Newman Center or youth ministry office in our diocese, and I really loved that. I wanted to use my talents in design for the Church in some way,” she said.

After college, Pease tried to get a job working for the Church in design, but it didn’t work out. A job at a winery paid the bills, but when she got home in the evening she continued creating designs on her computer with her favorite saints. When they started taking off on Facebook, Pease looked into creating her own design business.

“People started asking, ‘Do you do print?’ or ‘Do you have your designs as posters that I can hang up?’ So it was through those questions that I started looking into…could I actually do this as a job?” she said.

Pease started the printing side of her business after finding a good sale on posters, which she then sold online. She now has her own design business, Cassie Pease designs, which includes free Saint designs for Facebook and computer backgrounds as well as print designs such as posters, postcards and wallets for sale among other things.

Saint John Paul II is Pease’s favorite saint, so there are several designs with different quotes from the late pontiff. …

Go here for the rest of the story.