ISM Services came in strong for a 2nd month, as services finally seem to be in parallel with manufacturing (and represent a far large piece of the US economy). Almost every asset class of Earth continues to gallop up at once. However, emergency rates remain in place because... well, just don't argue. It's still an emergency and will be so for an extended period of time. Make sure to go fill up that gas tank cuz Bernie is going to take us to >$100 crude. With both oil and steel prices now rising as a duo we can begin to expect to see inflation begin to mimic what we saw in 2007 as producers take the hit first. As we warned in 2008, these will lead to bad outcomes.... but eventually is a long time for the stock market and for now government's across the world are happily placing their chips to buoy ability to purchase, next to private industry/consumer [May 23, 2008: Smaller Asian Countries Begin to Buckle Under Oil] [May 17, 2008: WSJ - Fast Rising Steel Prices Set Back Big Projects]
- Service industries expanded in March at the fastest pace since in more than three years, a sign the U.S. recovery is extending beyond manufacturing and starting to create jobs. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non- manufacturing businesses, which make up almost 90 percent of the economy, rose to 55.4, the highest level since May 2006, from 53 in the prior month. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast the ISM non-manufacturing index to rise to 54%.
- Readings above 50% in the diffusion index indicate that activity at more firms is expanding rather than contracting. The index had bounced around the 50% level for months before jumping higher in February and March.
- The business activity index rose to 60% from 54.8% in the previous month.
- The new-orders index jumped to 62.3% from 55.0% in February.
- The ISM employment measure rose 49.8% in March just shy of the 50% growth threshold. The ISM employment index has been below 50% since December 2007. It hit a low of 31.1% in November 2008.