Forex Fundamental Analysis

Significance Of ‘Composite PMI’ As A Forex Fundamental Driver


Composite Purchasing Manufacturing’s Index (PMI) is one of the major indicators of the country’s economic health. It is mainly concerned with the manufacturing and service sectors. The PMI provides information about the current business conditions from the data gathered from the company’s decision-makers, such as analysts and purchasing managers.

The PMI survey of each country consists of a questionnaire for the manufacturing or service sector, which collects the responses from the panel of senior purchasing executives at over 400 companies. The Composite PMI is basically a number that ranges between 0 to 100. The number above 50 represents an expansion compared to the previous reading. A PMI reading below 50 represents a contraction, and a reading at 50 indicates no change.


Calculation of the PMI

As mentioned in the above paragraph, the PMI is a number from 0 to 100, but we need to understand how one arrives at those numbers. The PMI is calculated using the below formula.

PMI = (P1 * 1) + (P2 * 0.5) + (P3 * 0)


P1 = percentage of answers stating an improvement

P2 = percentage of answers stating no change

P3 = percentage of answers stating a deterioration

The percentage stating deterioration has a zero multiplier; thus, it is always zero, but the larger the value of P3, the fewer the weight of the first two factors, thus lowering the total PMI value. in the case of P3=100% PMI = 0.

Use of Composite PMI

The PMI data is a critical decision-making tool for money managers that influences their investment across sectors to a great extent. Let us take the case of an automobile manufacturer, where the production decisions are based on the new orders it expects from the customers in future months. This will make them buy dozens of parts and raw materials, such as tires and plastics. The inventory rules also drive the amount of production the manufacturer needs to finish to fill new orders and to keep some inventory at the end of the month.

From the supplier’s point of view, the PMI data matter to him the most as well. The parts supplier to a manufacturing company will estimate the amount of demand it might get from these companies based on the PMI. Due to this, the suppliers charge more for their parts. The new orders data is closely related to the Composite PMI. For instance, if the new orders are growing, the manufacturing company may raise the prices of its products and accept the high cost of the parts. A company also uses the Composite PMI to plan its annual budget, supervise staffing levels, and manage cash flow.

The Economic Reports 

The Economic Reports of Composite PMI and related data are published monthly by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) that is extremely useful for manufacturers and the investment managers. The ISM monitors changes in production levels from month to month and is at the core of the Manufacturing report. This is one of the earliest indicators of economic activity and that investors and economists get regularly. The institute also releases a Semi-annual report in May and December. When the number is rising, investors anticipate a bullish reaction from the market to the data that is seen in the currency and stock market.

Analyzing the data

The PMI data is very easy to analyze, where we only have to look at the number and compare it with the previous readings. A PMI reading above 50 indicates growth or expansion of the manufacturing sector. A reading of 50 indicates that the number of manufacturers reporting good business is equal to those stating business is not good. Another key number to look for is 43.2. If the PMI index has been above this number for a period of time, it indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Any number under 50 indicates a contraction in the manufacturing sector and that most businesses are not expecting good business in the near future.

Impact on the currency 

The composite PMI is closely watched by traders and investors around the world that greatly influences their investment decision. They mainly if the number is below or above the 50 levels, which shows potential contraction or expansion in the economy. If the number is greater than 50 over the last few quarters, it indicates growth in the economy, which drives the currency higher. If the number remains below the 50 mark, it means the economy has entered into a recession. Investors will not be interested in investing in countries where the economy is in a recession, which leads to a depreciation of the currency.

Sources of information on Composite PMI

Composite PMI is available on the official website of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), which also provides a comprehensive analysis of the same. The data can also be found on some open-source economic websites and financial magazines.

Links to Composite PMI information sources

GBP (Sterling) –






The Composite PMI is a monthly survey sent to senior executives at more than 400 companies in 19 primary industries. The industries and companies are selected based on their contribution to the GDP and the sector, respectively. The surveys include questions about business conditions and any changes, whether it be improving, no change, or deteriorating. Hence, traders must keep an eye on this data and watch for its official releases.

Impact of the ‘Composite PMI’ news release on the Forex market 

Investors consider Composite PMI as a leading indicator of the economic health of a country. It is extremely for international investors looking to form an opinion on a country. The PMI is also a leading indicator of the growth in the gross domestic product (GDP). When formulating monetary policy, central banks use PMI surveys, which is reflected in the fixing of interest rates.

When it comes to predicting the GDP growth, a reading above 42 is considered a benchmark for economic expansion. In contrast, a reading below 42 indicates that the economy is heading into a recession. Since it is an important indicator for most of the people related to the economy and financial sector, it is bound to have a major impact on the value of a currency.

In today’s lesson, we will analyze the impact of composite PMI on different currency pairs and identify the change in volatility due to the news announcement. We will be looking at the PMI data in the Eurozone that was released in June (May as the reference month). The below image shows the previous, predicted, and latest PMI reading, where we see a big increase in the number compared to the previous month. Let us find out if the market receives the data positively or negatively.

EUR/USD | Before the announcement

Let us start with the EUR/USD currency pair to observe the change in volatility due to the news release. The above image shows the price’s behavior before the news announcement, where we see that the market is a strong uptrend. We will be looking to buy the currency pair after a price retracement to a support or demand level. At this point, we shouldn’t be taking any position in the currency pair.

EUR/USD | After the announcement

After the news announcement, volatility expands to the upside, and the market moves higher. As the PMI data was extremely positive for the economy, traders bought the currency and took the price higher. The PMI data had a positive impact on the currency pair, and the market makes new ‘high.’ One has to be cautious here by not jumping into the market for a ‘buy’ as it is against risk management rules.

EUR/JPY | Before the announcement

EUR/USD | After the announcement

The above images represent the EUR/JPY currency pair, where we see that the price is continuously moving higher with minimum retracements before the news announcement. It means the uptrend is very strong. From a ‘trade’ point of view, a similar approach will be followed here as well as we had in the previous currency pair, where we will be looking to buy the currency pair only a price retracement.

Right after the news is released, the price initially moves higher, but later selling pressure makes the ‘news candle’ to close near the opening. Therefore, we witness volatility in both the directions of the market in this currency pair. We can say that the PMI data did not have a major impact on the currency where the market remains sideways a few minutes after the news release as well.

EUR/AUD | Before the announcement

EUR/AUD | After the announcement

The above charts are that of the EUR/AUD currency pair, where the market shows a strong downtrend signifying a great amount of weakness in the Euro. Recently, the price has shown signs of retracement, and so we can expect a continuation of the down move after noticing trend continuation patterns. Until then, we will see what impact the PMI data makes on the currency pair.

After the news announcement, the price does not move adversely in any direction and remains almost at the same place as it was before. The PMI data has a neutral effect on the currency pair where ‘news candle’ forms a ‘Doji’ candlestick pattern. However, the Euro becomes bullish a few minutes after the news release and markets move higher, nearly reversing the downtrend.

This ends our discussion on ‘Composite PMI,’ and its relative impact on the Forex market post its news release. In case of any questions, please let us know in the comments below. All the best!


By Reddy Shyam Shankar

I am a professional Price Action retail trader and Speculator with expertise in Risk Management, Trade Management, and Hedging.

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