Purchasing managers index refers to a series of reports put out by providers such as Markit, HSBC and the Institute of Supply Management, which produces a PMI for the United States. Markit produces PMI indices on over 30 countries based on surveys of over 20,000 companies and considering variables such as output, new orders, employment and prices across key sectors. The ISM report produces a purchasing managers index for United States companies.
PMI indices are closely followed because they provide an early view of economic conditions which is especially helpful in emerging economies which might have poor official economic statistics reporting.
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In April 2014 investors were awaiting the publication of the manufacturing PMI for China after official data showed the slowest growth in the Chinese economy since April 2012.