December 4, 2017

A Note About Last Month’s October 2017 ISM Non-Manufacturing Index: It Reached a Record High

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 2:32 pm

I didn’t look at the October ISM Non-Manufacturing Index in full detail last month because of medical issues, but I did today while preparing for tomorrow’s report on November. I then realized I missed something pretty important.

The October report is worthy of full reproduction, and readers will see why shortly (bolds and most paragraph breaks added by me):

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in October for the 94th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The NMI® registered 60.1 percent, which is 0.3 percentage point higher than the September reading of 59.8 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly faster rate. This is the highest NMI® reading since the index’s debut in 2008. The highest reading among pre-2008 composite index calculations is 61.3 percent in August 2005.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 62.2 percent, 0.9 percentage point higher than the September reading of 61.3 percent, reflecting growth for the 99th consecutive month, at a slightly faster rate in October. The New Orders Index registered 62.8 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than the reading of 63 percent in September.

The Employment Index increased 0.7 percentage point in October to 57.5 percent from the September reading of 56.8 percent. The Prices Index decreased by 3.6 percentage points from the September reading of 66.3 percent to 62.7 percent, indicating prices increased in October for the fifth consecutive month.

According to the NMI®, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The non-manufacturing sector has reflected the third consecutive month of strong growth. Respondent comments continue to indicate a positive outlook for business conditions, and the economy as we begin the fourth quarter.”

The 16 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in October — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Construction; Transportation & Warehousing; Mining; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Other Services; Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Retail Trade; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Public Administration; Information; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Accommodation & Food Services. The two industries reporting contraction in October are: Educational Services; and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.

That’s right the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index reached a record level (since 2008, when the old “services” report got reworked).

The Associated Press treated it as a 12-year record, failing to recognize that comparing the new and old indices is an apples-and-oranges exercise. (We also need to chill the euphoria a bit and remember that ISM produces surveys, not hard data.)

The combination of that news and October’s Manufacturing Index of 58.7 percent was probably the highest combination of the two reports in a very, very long time.

November’s Manufacturing Index dipped a bit to 58.2 percent from the 58.7 percent seen in October. But if Non-Manufacturing somewhat manages another increase, we’ll see another virtual all-time high in the weighted index (about 85 percent Non-Manufacturing and 15 percent Manufacturing).

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120417)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 1:00 pm

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: ‘Guardian Angel’ police officer adopts opioid-addicted newborn from homeless woman

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 12:55 pm

From Albuquerque, New Mexico (HT Weasel Zippers;video here):

December 3, 2017

A police officer is being called a “guardian angel” after responding to reports of a robbery ended up with him agreeing to adopt a homeless pregnant woman’s baby.

Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets was investigating a convenience store robbery when he walked behind the building and found a woman getting ready to inject heroin.

Holets turned on his bodycam and confronted the 35-year-old Crystal Champ and her companion before realizing the woman was pregnant.

“You’re going to kill your baby,” Holets is heard on the bodycam chastising Champ, who revealed she was “seven or eight months pregnant.”

Holets, who appears to be writing a citation for the couple in the beginning of the video, begins talking to Champ about her situation.

“It’s not every day I see a sight like that,” Holets said in an interview with CNN. “It just made me really sad.”


It was in that life-changing moment that Holets decided to intervene.

“I just felt God telling me, ‘Tell her that you will do it because you can,’” Holets said to CNN.

That “it” was the father of four telling Champ he would like to adopt her baby.

… After the conversation with Champ, Holets got in his squad car and drove immediately to his wife – with whom he had not yet discussed the magnanimous decision he made.

The police officer went right up to his wife and told her the whole story.

“He already knew my heart on the issue, and he knew that I would be totally onboard with it,” Holets’ wife, Rebecca, told CNN. …

Go here for the full story.