PMI - Purchasing Managers Index: Institute for Supply Management; The first business day of each month, 10:00am EST, covers previous month's data. The PMI is a composite index that is based on five major indicators including: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries, and the employment environment. Each indicator has a different weight and the data is adjusted for seasonal factors. The Association of Purchasing Managers surveys over 300 purchasing managers nationwide who represent 20 different industries. A PMI index over 50 indicates that manufacturing is expanding while anything below 50 means that the industry is contracting. The PMI report is an extremely important indicator for the financial markets as it is the best indicator of factory production. The index is popular for detecting inflationary pressure as well as manufacturing economic activity. The PMI is not as strong as the CPI in detecting inflation, but because the data is released one day after the month it is very timely. Should the PMI report an unexpected change, it is usually followed by a quick reaction in market. One especially key area of the report is growth in new orders, which predicts manufacturing activity in future months.
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