Full text of U.S. Financial Data : April 4, 2002
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April 4, 2002 USFinancialData THE WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS: ■ The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) reported that its index of business activity in the nonmanufacturing part of the U.S. economy slipped 1.4 percentage points in March to 57.3 percent. For the first quarter, the index averaged 55.2 percent, its highest reading in five quarters. An index value greater than 50 percent indicates that more nonmanufacturing industries are reporting faster growth than weaker growth. ■ The ISM index of business activity in the manufacturing sector rose 0.9 percentage points in March to 55.6 percent, the highest reading since February 2000. According to the ISM, an index value routinely above 42.7 percent is consistent with “an expansion of the overall economy.” The manufacturing index has been above 42.7 percent since November 2001. ■ In February, the nominal value of total factory orders fell 0.1 percent, after rising 1.1 percent in January. However, new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 0.9 percent, the fourth increase in the past five months. The book value of manufacturers’ inventories fell 0.4 percent in February, the smallest decline in 10 months. ■ Following gains of 0.5 percent in December 2001 and 0.9 percent in January, real construction spending rose 1.2 percent in February, the largest increase since January 2001. Paced by a 3.8 percent rise in real residential outlays, private construction spending rose 1.9 percent, the largest increase since February 2000. Real construction spending on publicly financed projects fell 0.8 percent in February, the first decline in five months. All data are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated. U.S. Financial Data is published weekly by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. For more information on data, please call (314) 444-8590. To be added to the mailing list, please call (314) 444-8809. Information in this publication is also included in the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) data base on the internet at www.stls.frb.org/fred.