Economic Notes for the Week of March 12th

The ISM Non-Manufacturing index increased in February from 56.8 to 57.3, which was somewhat of a surprise as consensus estimates assumed a small to modest decline.  It reflected solid strength in service sector activity, as new orders and general business activity were both up at the highest levels since early 2011.

Factory orders fell -1.0% for the month, which was slightly less than expected, and some of the components were positive for the near-term.  Core durable goods orders were revised upward, as were core shipments.  Non-durable goods inventories were also up a bit. Read more