The ISM surveys are issued monthly to measure various business activity for both manufacturing and service industries. One indicator is the New Orders Index which I display below since 1997. It is considered to be indicating expansion at values above 52.1. The recent pick up in orders is consistent with viewpoints that the U.S. economy is improving.
Since 1980, GDP has been up 100% of the time 12 months after manufacturing New Orders have been higher than 53.6 (using quarterly data). Manufacturing New Orders were 57 in report issued last week for Dec. 2011. The avg. GDP growth has been 6% following this level of New Order Growth. Jeb Terry, Sr. January 8, 2012
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