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FOR RELEASE: February 5, 2020

Contact:   Kristina Cahill
Report On Business® Analyst
ISM®, ROB/Research Manager
Tempe, Arizona
480-752-6276, Ext. 3015
E-mail: kcahill@instituteforsupplymanagement.org

 


January 2020 Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

This report reflects the recently completed annual adjustments to the seasonal factors used to calculate the indexes.

NMI® at 55.5%


GDP Growing at 2.4%


Business Activity Index at 60.9%

New Orders Index at 56.2%

Employment Index at 53.1%


(Tempe, Arizona) – Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in January for the 120th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P., CFPM, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The NMI® registered 55.5 percent, which is 0.6 percentage point higher than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 54.9 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, at a slightly faster rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 60.9 percent, 3.9 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 57.0 percent, reflecting growth for the 126th consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 56.2 percent; 0.9 percentage point higher than the seasonally adjusted reading of 55.3 percent in December. The Employment Index decreased 1.7 percentage points in January to 53.1 percent from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 54.8 percent. The Prices Index of 55.5 is 3.8 percentage points lower than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 59.3 percent, indicating that prices increased in January for the 32nd consecutive month. According to the NMI®, 12 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The non-manufacturing sector exhibited continued growth in January. The respondents remain mostly positive about business conditions and the overall economy. Respondents continue to have difficulty with labor resources.”

The 12 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in January — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; Utilities; Accommodation & Food Services; Finance & Insurance; Retail Trade; Construction; Public Administration; Information; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The six industries reporting a decrease in January — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Other Services; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Mining; and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing.

What respondents are saying
  • “Outlook remains favorable for growth in 2020. Pricing on goods and services [are] stable, with little to no pricing escalations expected for the remainder of the first quarter, except for seasonal- and trade/tariff-related impacts on food products.” (Accommodation & Food Services)
  • “Q1 sales are improving, which makes us more optimistic.” (Construction)
  • “Cautious start to 2020. Looking forward with optimism and encouragement. Conditions are favorable.” (Finance & Insurance)
  • “Closely monitoring China’s coronavirus and its potential impact on medical supplies like surgical masks and protective goggles.” (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • “The labor market continues to be a challenge, impacting capacity and pushing up costs. Despite this, overall business volume remains positive, with growth in key sectors for our business.” (Management of Companies & Support Services)
  • “The oil and gas industry is off to a slow start in 2020, as oil prices dropped slightly to start the year. Companies continue to be highly disciplined about hiring direct employees or contractors and making capital investments that drive hiring. Several notable oil and gas companies announced layoffs in the first week of January 2020.” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • “Customer inquiries are strong to start the new year.” (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing)
  • “Activity is fair overall, but with regional ups and downs. The West in general has been favorable due to snowfall increasing sales activity, while the East has been down due to warmer weather in key winter tire markets. Optimism for the month, however, is good.” (Wholesale Trade)

ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE COMPARISON OF ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING AND ISM® MANUFACTURING SURVEYS*
January 2020

 Non-ManufacturingManufacturing
IndexSeries Index JanSeries Index DecPercent Point ChangeDirectionRate of ChangeTrend** (Months)Series Index JanSeries Index DecPercent Point Change
NMI®/ PMI® 55.5 54.9 +0.6 Growing Faster 120 50.9 47.8 +3.1
Business Activity/ Production 60.9 57.0 +3.9 Growing Faster 126 54.3 44.8 +9.5
New Orders 56.2 55.3 +0.9 Growing Faster 126 52.0 47.6 +4.4
Employment 53.1 54.8 -1.7 Growing Slower 71 46.6 45.2 +1.4
Supplier Deliveries 51.7 52.5 -0.8 Slowing Slower 8 52.9 52.2 +0.7
Inventories 46.5 51.0 -4.5 Contracting From Growing 1 48.8 49.2 -0.4
Prices 55.5 59.3 -3.8 Increasing Slower 32 53.3 51.7 +1.6
Backlog of Orders 45.5 47.5 -2.0 Contracting Faster 4 45.7 43.3 +2.4
New Export Orders 50.1 51.0 -0.9 Growing Slower 3 53.3 47.3 +6.0
Imports 55.1 48.0 +7.1 Growing From Contracting 1 51.3 48.8 +2.5
Inventory Sentiment 54.9 60.0 -5.1 Too High Slower 271 N/A N/A N/A
Customers' Inventories N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 43.8 41.1 +2.7
Overall Economy Growing Faster 126
Non-Manufacturing Sector Growing Faster 120
Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®data is seasonally adjusted for the Business Activity, New Orders, Prices and Employment Indexes. Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®data is seasonally adjusted for New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventory Indexes.
*Number of months moving in current direction.

Commodities reported up/down in price and in short supply


Commodities Up in Price

Beef Products (2); Cheese Products (3); Copper Products; Electrical Components; Labor; Labor — Construction; Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies; Pharmaceuticals; Propane; Steel Products; and Sugar.

 

Commodities Down in Price

Bacon; Diesel Fuel; and Fuel.

 

Commodities in Short Supply

Construction Contractors (3); Construction Subcontractors (25); Labor (16); Labor — Construction (46); Labor — Temporary (7); Surgical Gowns; and Syringes.

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.


JANUARY 2020 Non-Manufacturing Index Summaries


In January, the NMI® registered 55.5 percent, 0.6 percentage point higher than the seasonally adjusted 54.9 percent in December. The non-manufacturing sector grew for the 120th consecutive month. A reading above 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

An NMI® above 48.5 percent, over time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the January NMI® indicates growth for the 126th consecutive month in the overall economy and expansion in the non-manufacturing sector for the 120th consecutive month. Nieves says, “The past relationship between the NMI® and the overall economy indicates that the NMI® for January (55.5 percent) corresponds to a 2.4-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis.”

NMI® History

MonthNMI®
Jan 2020 55.5
Dec 2019 54.9
Nov 2019 53.9
Oct 2019 54.4
Sep 2019 53.5
Aug 2019 56.0
MonthNMI®
Jul 2019 54.8
Jun 2019 55.4
May 2019 56.3
Apr 2019 55.7
Mar 2019 56.3
Feb 2019 58.5
55.4
58.5
53.5

Business Activity

ISM®’s Business Activity Index registered 60.9 percent in January, an increase of 3.9 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 57 percent. This represents growth in business activity for the 126th consecutive month. Twelve industries reported increased business activity. Comments from respondents include: “New prospects and existing proposals converted” and “North American projects moving forward; activity picking up.”

The 12 industries reporting growth of business activity in January — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Transportation & Warehousing; Public Administration; Finance & Insurance; Construction; Accommodation & Food Services; Utilities; Information; Educational Services; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The four industries reporting a decrease in business activity for the month of January are: Mining; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Wholesale Trade; and Other Services.

Business Activity% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 29.7 53.0 17.3 60.9
Dec 2019 27 52 21 57.0
Nov 2019 24 56 20 52.3
Oct 2019 30 52 18 55.5

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing New Orders Index registered 56.2 percent, an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 55.3 percent. New orders grew for the 126th consecutive month, at a faster rate compared with December. Comments from respondents include: “New business growth with some increasing demand” and “Business expansion.”

The 10 industries reporting growth of new orders in January — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Management of Companies & Support Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Utilities; Educational Services; Construction; and Wholesale Trade. The four industries reporting contraction in January are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Retail Trade; Other Services; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

New Orders% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 26.2 51.2 22.7 56.2
Dec 2019 25 55 20 55.3
Nov 2019 28 57 15 56.7
Oct 2019 26 56 18 55.6

Employment activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in January for the 71st consecutive month. ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Employment Index registered 53.1 percent, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 54.8 percent. Six industries reported increased employment, and eight industries reported decreased employment. Comments from respondents include: “Dramatic workforce shortage continues” and “Filling open positions due to new orders.”

The six industries reporting an increase in employment in January — listed in order — are: Retail Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance. The eight industries reporting a reduction in employment in January — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Other Services; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; Mining; Information; Construction; and Finance & Insurance.

Employment% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 16.9 69.4 13.7 53.1
Dec 2019 21 67 12 54.8
Nov 2019 21 66 13 54.9
Oct 2019 22 65 13 53.9

Supplier Deliveries

The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 51.7 percent, which is 0.8 percentage point lower than the 52.5 percent reported in December. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: “Weather and seasonal demand on transportation” and “Post-holiday supply chain stresses decreased.”

The nine industries reporting slower deliveries in January — listed in order — are: Utilities; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; Mining; Information; Finance & Insurance; Management of Companies & Support Services; Other Services; and Construction. The two industries reporting faster deliveries in January are: Transportation & Warehousing; and Wholesale Trade. Seven industries reported no change in supplier deliveries in January as compared to December.

Supplier Deliveries% Slower% Same% FasterIndex
Jan 2020 11.3 80.9 7.8 51.7
Dec 2019 9 87 4 52.5
Nov 2019 8 87 5 51.5
Oct 2019 8 89 3 52.5

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Inventories Index contracted in January, registering 46.5 percent, which is 4.5 percentage points lower than the seasonally adjusted 51 percent reported in December. Of the total respondents in January, 30.6 percent indicated they do not have inventories or do not measure them. Comments from respondents include: “Adjusted for reduction in volume” and “We have been right sizing inventory levels for the last several months; they are now at the appropriate levels.”

The eight industries reporting an increase in inventories in January — listed in order — are: Finance & Insurance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; Utilities; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; and Construction. The eight industries reporting a decrease in inventories in January — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Information; Management of Companies & Support Services; Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; and Mining.

Inventories% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 19.8 53.5 26.8 46.5
Dec 2019 22 58 20 51.0
Nov 2019 20 61 19 50.5
Oct 2019 19 63 18 50.5

Prices paid by non-manufacturing organizations for materials and services increased in January for the 32nd consecutive month. ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Prices Index registered 55.5 percent which is 3.8 percentage points lower than the seasonally adjusted 59.3 that was reported in December.

The 12 non-manufacturing industries that reported an increase in prices paid during the month of January — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Utilities; Public Administration; Transportation & Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Educational Services; Retail Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Construction; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Finance & Insurance. The two industries that reported a decrease in prices in January are: Other Services; and Information.

Prices% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 15.6 79.7 4.7 55.5
Dec 2019 16 79 5 59.3
Nov 2019 18 76 6 58.8
Oct 2019 19 74 7 57.3
NOTE: Commodities reported as up in price and down in price are listed in the commodities section of this report.

Backlog of Orders

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Backlog of Orders Index contracted in January for the fifth time in the last six months. The index registered 45.5 percent, which is 2 percentage points lower than the 47.5 percent reported in December. Of the total respondents in January, 33.4 percent indicated they do not measure backlog of orders.

The seven industries reporting an increase in order backlogs in January — listed in order — are: Finance & Insurance; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Utilities; Construction; Transportation & Warehousing; and Public Administration. The nine industries that reported a decrease in backlogs in January — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Accommodation & Food Services; Retail Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Information; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Educational Services; Other Services; and Wholesale Trade.

Backlog of Orders% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 12.7 65.7 21.7 45.5
Dec 2019 11 73 16 47.5
Nov 2019 14 69 17 48.5
Oct 2019 14 69 17 48.5

New Export Orders

Orders and requests for services and other non-manufacturing activities to be provided outside of the U.S. by domestically based personnel grew in January. The New Export Orders Index registered 50.1 percent in January, which is 0.9 percentage point lower than the 51 percent reported in December. Of the total respondents in January, 67.5 percent indicated they either do not perform, or do not separately measure, orders for work outside of the U.S.

The five industries reporting an increase in new export orders in January are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Management of Companies & Support Services; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Wholesale Trade. The six industries that reported a decrease in exports in January — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Utilities; Retail Trade; Other Services; Mining; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Seven industries reported no change in exports in January compared to December.

New Export Orders% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 8.4 83.4 8.2 50.1
Dec 2019 10 82 8 51.0
Nov 2019 13 78 9 52.0
Oct 2019 8 84 8 50.0

The Imports Index grew after four consecutive months of contraction. The index registered 55.1 percent in January, 7.1 percentage points higher than December’s figure of 48 percent. Sixty percent of respondents reported that they do not use, or do not track the use of, imported materials.

The seven industries reporting an increase in imports for the month of January — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Educational Services; Finance & Insurance; Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; and Management of Companies & Support Services. The four industries that reported a decrease in imports in January are: Mining; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; and Construction. Seven industries reported no change in imports in January as compared to December.

Imports% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Jan 2020 17.2 75.8 7.0 55.1
Dec 2019 11 74 15 48.0
Nov 2019 3 84 13 45.0
Oct 2019 5 87 8 48.5

Inventory Sentiment

The ISM® Non-Manufacturing Inventory Sentiment Index in January registered 54.9 percent, 5.1 percentage points lower than the 60 percent reading in December. This indicates that respondents believe their inventories are still too high.

The 11 industries reporting sentiment that their inventories were too high in January — listed in order — are: Wholesale Trade; Other Services; Retail Trade; Accommodation & Food Services; Mining; Construction; Management of Companies & Support Services; Information; Public Administration; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The only industry reporting a feeling that inventories were too low in January is: Transportation & Warehousing.

Inventory Sentiment

Inventory Sentiment% Too High% About Right% Too LowIndex
Jan 2020 14.4 80.9 4.7 54.9
Dec 2019 25 70 5 60.0
Nov 2019 23 71 6 58.5
Oct 2019 20 74 6 57.0

About This Report

DO NOT CONFUSE THIS NATIONAL REPORT with the various regional purchasing reports released across the country. The national report's information reflects the entire U.S., while the regional reports contain primarily regional data from their local vicinities. Also, the information in the regional reports is not used in calculating the results of the national report. The information compiled in this report is for the month of January 2020.

The data presented herein is obtained from a survey of non-manufacturing supply executives based on information they have collected within their respective organizations. ISM® makes no representation, other than that stated within this release, regarding the individual company data collection procedures. The data should be compared to all other economic data sources when used in decision-making.

Data and Method of Presentation

The Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. Membership of the Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee is diversified by NAICS, based on each industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). The Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee responses are divided into the following NAICS code categories: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Information; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; and Other Services (services such as Equipment & Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning & Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services).

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (Business Activity, New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Inventory Change, Inventory Sentiment, Imports, Prices, Employment and Supplier Deliveries), this report shows the percentage reporting each response and the diffusion index. Responses represent raw data and are never changed. Data is seasonally adjusted for Business Activity, New Orders, Prices and Employment. All seasonal adjustment factors are subject annually to relatively minor changes when conditions warrant them. The remaining indexes have not indicated significant seasonality.

The NMI® (Non-Manufacturing Index) is a composite index based on the diffusion indexes for four of the indicators with equal weights: Business Activity (seasonally adjusted), New Orders (seasonally adjusted), Employment (seasonally adjusted) and Supplier Deliveries. Diffusion indexes have the properties of leading indicators and are convenient summary measures showing the prevailing direction of change and the scope of change. An index reading above 50 percent indicates that the non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining. Supplier Deliveries is an exception. A Supplier Deliveries Index above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries and below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries.

An NMI® above 48.5 percent, over time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 48.5 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 49 percent is indicative of the strength of the expansion or decline.

The Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® survey is sent out to Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee respondents the first part of each month. Respondents are asked to ONLY report on information for the current month. ISM® receives survey responses throughout most of any given month, with the majority of respondents generally waiting until late in the month to submit responses in order to give the most accurate picture of current business activity. ISM® then compiles the report for release on the third business day of the following month.

The industries reporting growth, as indicated in the Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® monthly report, are listed in the order of most growth to least growth. For the industries reporting contraction or decreases, those are listed in the order of the highest level of contraction/decrease to the least level of contraction/decrease.

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About Institute for Supply Management®

Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) serves supply management professionals in more than 90 countries. Its 50,000 members around the world manage about US$1 trillion in corporate and government supply chain procurement annually. Founded in 1915 as the first supply management institute in the world, ISM is committed to advancing the practice of supply management to drive value and competitive advantage for its members, contributing to a prosperous and sustainable world. ISM leads the profession through the ISM Report On Business®, its highly regarded certification programs and the ISM Mastery Model®. This report has been issued by the association since 1931, except for a four-year interruption during World War II.

The full text version of the Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® is posted on ISM®'s website at www.ismrob.org on the third business day* of every month after 10:00 a.m. ET.

The next Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® featuring February 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

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