Updated from its original posting: 02 Jan 2007
The ISM Manufacturing Survey is based on comments from purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector.
It’s the first piece of news on the economy every month and provides the earliest clues of how the economy has fared during the previous four weeks.
Why is it considered important?
People in charge of buying stuff for their company are called purchasing managers. Manufacturing companies need supplies to make products. A sample of items they might order includes cables, packing boxes, and computers. If there’s an increase in demand for manufactured products (like your son begging you for an Xbox 360), purchasing managers respond by increasing orders for production material and other supplies. If manufacturing sales slow, these corporate buyers will cut back on industrial orders.