Tuesday, July 5, 2011

05/07/2011: Services PMIs: June 2011

Services PMIs for Ireland are out today for June from NCB Stockbrokers. Last week, manufacturing PMIs came in disappointingly low, signaling renewed contraction in the sector (see details here). The headline numbers for services are:
  • Core PMI reading for Service has risen to 52.4 in June from 50.5 in May - a reasonably strong increase. Controlling for volatility, last 3mo average stands at 51.0, down from the Q1 2011 average of 53.4, and below 12mo MA of 51.6, which means that the current reading is still short of Q1 2011 average, but ahead of it's own quarter average and historical average.
  • Q2 2010 period average was 52.9, ahead of Q2 2011 average of 51.0. To compare to the dire conditions in 2009 - Q2 2009 average was 38.0. Now, remember, PMI is not an absolute measure of activity, but a relative one, which means that given a deep fall-off of 2009, we need strong growth - again, my benchmark would be to see PMIs in 60s+ - in 2010 and 2011 to compensate for the declines in 2009. This not happening. Still, it is good to see the index sticking above 50 for the 6th month in the row.

  • New business index - my concern last month - has notched up on May, rising from 48.2 in May to a still contractionary 49.4 in June. Current reading is consistent with the Q2 2011 average and is down on both Q1 2011 average of 50.9 and 12mo average of 49.9. Q2 2010 reading was 52.6. Again, as with core PMI Q2 2009 reading was 37.5 - abysmally low, but there was no recovery since then, as new business index was stuck below 50 in all months except April-August 2010 and February-April 2011, furthermore, index never reached beyond 54.0 (June 2010), so no momentum in terms of new business orders recovery.

Note in the above chart, that we now are two consecutive months running with core PMI signaling weak expansion, while New Business Orders PMI stuck in contraction zone.

In terms of other components - note, I will be covering employment in a separate post for both Services and Manufacturing PMIs:
  • Backlogs of work have declined again in June - from 44.9 in May to 44.5 in June, implying that service providers shifted more resources to complete unfinished work. Q2 2011 average stands at a contractionary 45.3, down from Q1 2011 average of 48.0 and 2010 Q2 average of 48.8. 12mo average reads 45.6.
  • Employment index remained flat at contractionary 48.1, down from expansionary 51.1 in April. With April 2011 out-of-line reading of expansion, this index remains in contractionary territory in 39 out of 40 last months. More on this later.
  • Output Prices/Charges index has fallen further into contraction (deflation) territory, declining from 43.9 in May to 43.5 in June and marking 35th consecutive month of declines (in a separate post I will be covering the issues of profit margins, so stay tuned for more on output/input prices divergence).
  • Input prices have remained in expansion territory, although the pace of inflation has moderated further from 54.7 in May to 51.8 in June, with June marking 3 consecutive month of moderating input prices growth.
  • Confidence / Business Expectations index has shown lower rate of growth, with June reading of 60.3 coming in behind May index reading of 62.3. Overall, Q2 2011 average was 63.1 and Q1 2011 average was 65.8, while 12mo average stands at 64.0, so clearly confidence is getting stronger slower. This is largely irrelevant in my view, as the index reading was averaging 50.7 (growing confidence) during the abysmal Q2 2009, just as other components were showing massive fall-off the cliff for services activities in Ireland. In addition, I have previously shown that over the entire life-span of the series data, confidence failed to act as a predictor of any real future activity (core PMIs, New Orders, New Export Orders or Employment) in the sector.
  • New Export Business index continued to signal expansion, albeit at lower rates with June index standing at 53.1 down from 54.4 in May. Q2 2011 average now stands at 54.0 against Q1 2011 average of 54.8. 12mo average is 53.6, while Q2 2010 was 56.5. So data suggests a clear slowdown in the rate of exports growth. This, of course, is an important indicator as CSO does not report monthly series for services exports.
  • Finally, profitability index has moderated the fall recorded in May, rising from contractionary May reading of 41.4 to still contractionary 44.8 in June. June reading is now ahead of Q2 average of 43.7, and Q1 2011 average of 43.5, but behind Q2 2010 average of 48.0 and behind 12mo average of 45.5. Again, more on profitability in a separate post
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