The ISM Non Manufacturing reading came in very good today; unlike Monday's ISM Manufacturing which only represents about 10% of the economic activity and employment, this report is far more tangible to the current U.S. economy. The headline figure came in at 57.1 (vs 55.00 in November) however just like Monday's ISM report, the employment component lagged severely. The figure dropped to 50.5 from 52.7; in light of this morning's ADP report which showed a massive surge in employment in the service sector, we have some head scratching conflicting data.
In other data points:
New orders were very good - jumping 5.3 points to 63. One hopes the employment data is some sort of lagging indicator - i.e. headline figure jumps, new orders jumps... and eventually employers need to hire to take care of this situation, but they have been telling us employment is a 'lagging indicator' for nearly 2 years now.
Prices surged from 63.2 to 70.0 - mirroring what we saw in ISM Manufacturing. Takeaway? Inflation is jumping in every report except for those generated by the U.S. government. How convenient. ;) [Dec 16, 2010: Shadowstats.com - Consumer Inflation as Measured in 1980 Would be 8%+, as Measured in 1990, 4%]
This is the first time I can remember the headline figure on ISM Non-Manufacturing besting its peer in some 3 years...