Another glorified confidence index based on surveys comes in, and prints not surprisingly at a better than expected 59.7, on expectations of 59.3, and an improvement from last month's 59.4. From the report: " "The NMI registered 59.7 percent in February, 0.3 percentage point higher than the 59.4 percent registered in January, and indicating continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased 2.3 percentage points to 66.9 percent, reflecting growth for the 19th consecutive month and at a faster rate than in January. The New Orders Index decreased 0.5 percentage point to 64.4 percent, and the Employment Index increased 1.1 percentage points to 55.6 percent, indicating growth in employment for the sixth consecutive month and at a faster rate. The Prices Index increased 1.2 percentage points to 73.3 percent, indicating that prices increased at a faster rate in February. According to the NMI, 13 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in February. Respondents' comments overall are mostly positive about business conditions and the direction of the economy." And while employment was up modestly to 55.6 from 54.5, the only two trendlines that matter were Prices (inflation) and Inventories (lack of demand), both at multi year highs. The charts speak for themselves.
Full report link.