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FOR RELEASE: September 5, 2019

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

 


August 2019 Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

NMI® at 56.4%


Business Activity Index at 61.5%

New Orders Index at 60.3%

Employment Index at 53.1%


(Tempe, Arizona) – Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in August for the 115th 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 56.4 percent, which is 2.7 percentage points higher than the July reading of 53.7 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, at a faster rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 61.5 percent, 8.4 percentage points higher than the July reading of 53.1 percent, reflecting growth for the 121st consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 60.3 percent; 6.2 percentage points higher than the reading of 54.1 percent in July. The Employment Index decreased 3.1 percentage points in August to 53.1 percent from the July reading of 56.2 percent. The Prices Index increased 1.7 percentage points from the July reading of 56.5 percent to 58.2 percent, indicating that prices increased in August for the 27th consecutive month. According to the NMI®, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The non-manufacturing sector’s rate of growth rebounded after two consecutive months of cooling off. The respondents remain concerned about tariffs and geopolitical uncertainty; however, they are mostly positive about business conditions.”

INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE

The 16 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in August — listed in order — are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; Retail Trade; Utilities; Construction; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Other Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Transportation & Warehousing; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Information; Mining; and Management of Companies & Support Services. The only industry reporting a decrease is Wholesale Trade.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING
  • “Tariffs are affecting the cost of goods on all items imported from China. We’ve experienced a 10-percent increase on Chinese ingredients which kicked in on August 1.” (Accommodation & Food Services)
  • “Generally good. Volumes are near expectations; however, commodity volatility is creating some challenges.” (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting)
  • “Lower mortgage rates have not had a great effect on new residential construction sales. Tariffs continue to apply upward cost pressures to current supply chains.” (Construction)
  • “Trading volumes slowed, despite an extra day in the month for financial market activity. The competitive landscape for financial services continues to be challenging, with new lower cost offerings from competitors and new startups. At the end of the month, the federal funds rate was lowered to 2.25 percent, which affects company revenues.” (Finance & Insurance)
  • “The advertising specialties industry continues to remain robust, despite the escalation of tariffs on apparel and other related promotional products. Many suppliers bought deep into inventory to avoid price increases; however, pricing effects from the tariffs are trickling into the supply chain. Clients are still converting quotes into orders, and we are still on track for a record sales year.” (Management of Companies & Support Services)
  • “Summer doldrums appear to be over, and the fourth quarter will be solid, with higher-than-expected revenues.” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • “Construction markets remain busy. Projects that were delayed are trying to get back on track.” (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing)
  • “As Q2 wraps up for many retailers, we begin focusing on holiday readiness. In turn, head count and requests for additional products and services will gradually increase.” (Retail Trade)
  • “Our summer load factor was high, and as we transition to the holiday season, we are forecasting a high load as well.” (Transportation & Warehousing)

ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE COMPARISON OF ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING AND ISM® MANUFACTURING SURVEYS*
August 2019

 Non-ManufacturingManufacturing
IndexSeries Index AugSeries Index JulPercent Point ChangeDirectionRate of ChangeTrend** (Months)Series Index AugSeries Index JulPercent Point Change
NMI®/ PMI® 56.4 53.7 +2.7 Growing Faster 115 49.1 51.2 -2.1
Business Activity/ Production 61.5 53.1 +8.4 Growing Faster 121 49.5 50.8 -1.3
New Orders 60.3 54.1 +6.2 Growing Faster 121 47.2 50.8 -3.6
Employment 53.1 56.2 -3.1 Growing Slower 66 47.4 51.7 -4.3
Supplier Deliveries 50.5 51.5 -1.0 Slowing Slower 3 51.4 53.3 -1.9
Inventories 55.0 50.0 +5.0 Growing From Unchanged 1 49.9 49.5 +0.4
Prices 58.2 56.5 +1.7 Increasing Faster 27 46.0 45.1 +0.9
Backlog of Orders 49.0 53.5 -4.5 Contracting From Growing 1 46.3 43.1 +3.2
New Export Orders 50.5 53.5 -3.0 Growing Slower 31 43.3 48.1 -4.8
Imports 50.5 53.5 -3.0 Growing Slower 2 46.0 47.0 -1.0
Inventory Sentiment 56.0 60.5 -4.5 Too High Slower 266 N/A N/A N/A
Customers' Inventories N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 44.9 45.7 -0.8
Overall Economy Growing Faster 121
Non-Manufacturing Sector Growing Faster 115
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 Supplier Deliveries Indexes.

Commodities reported up/down in price and in short supply


Commodities Up in Price

Dairy (4); Electrical Components; Fuel; Medical Supplies; Office Supplies; and Steel Products*.

 

Commodities Down in Price

Diesel; Gasoline; Plastic Products; and Steel Products* (2).

 

Commodities in Short Supply

Construction Subcontractors (20); Labor (11); Labor — Construction (41); and Labor — Temporary (2).

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item. *Indicates both up and down in price.


August 2019 NON-MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


In August, the NMI® registered 56.4 percent, 2.7 percentage points higher than the 53.7 percent in July. The non-manufacturing sector grew for the 115th 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 48.6 percent, over time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the August NMI® indicates growth for the 121st consecutive month in the overall economy and expansion in the non-manufacturing sector for the 115th consecutive month. Nieves says, “The past relationship between the NMI® and the overall economy indicates that the NMI® for August (56.4 percent) corresponds to a 2.7-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis.”

NMI® History

MonthNMI®
Aug 2019 56.4
Jul 2019 53.7
Jun 2019 55.1
May 2019 56.9
Apr 2019 55.5
Mar 2019 56.1
MonthNMI®
Feb 2019 59.7
Jan 2019 56.7
Dec 2018 58.0
Nov 2018 60.4
Oct 2018 60.0
Sep 2018 60.8
57.4
60.8
53.7

Business Activity

ISM®’s Business Activity Index registered 61.5 percent in August, an increase of 8.4 percentage points from the July reading of 53.1 percent. This represents growth in business activity for the 121st consecutive month. Fourteen industries reported increased business activity. Comments from respondents include: “Sales are improving” and “Delayed projects are starting to become active again.”

The 14 industries reporting growth of business activity in August — listed in order — are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Utilities; Retail Trade; Public Administration; Accommodation & Food Services; Mining; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Finance & Insurance; Construction; Educational Services; Transportation & Warehousing; and Information. The only industry reporting a decrease in business activity for the month of August is Wholesale Trade.

Business Activity% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 32 57 11 61.5
Jul 2019 23 60 17 53.1
Jun 2019 32 56 12 58.2
May 2019 33 59 8 61.2

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing New Orders Index registered 60.3 percent, an increase of 6.2 percentage points from the July reading of 54.1 percent. New orders grew in August for the 121st consecutive month, at a faster rate compared with July. Comments from respondents include: “Capital acquisition cycle” and “New orders booked, [with] increased activity requests.”

The 15 industries reporting growth of new orders in August — listed in order — are: Retail Trade; Accommodation & Food Services; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Public Administration; Transportation & Warehousing; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Construction; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Educational Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Other Services; and Information. The three industries reporting contraction in August are: Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; and Mining.

New Orders% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 31 57 12 60.3
Jul 2019 23 60 17 54.1
Jun 2019 32 54 14 55.8
May 2019 30 59 11 58.6

Employment activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in August for the 66th consecutive month. ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Employment Index registered 53.1 percent, a decrease of 3.1 percentage points from the July reading of 56.2 percent. Ten industries reported increased employment, and six industries reported decreased employment. Comments from respondents include: “New jobs added to compensate for the growth of business” and “Turnover. We are working on recruiting individuals.”

The 10 industries reporting an increase in employment in August — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Construction; Public Administration; Utilities; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Transportation & Warehousing; and Management of Companies & Support Services. The six industries reporting a reduction in employment in August are: Educational Services; Wholesale Trade; Mining; Information; Finance & Insurance; and Health Care & Social Assistance.

Employment% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 22 60 18 53.1
Jul 2019 27 61 12 56.2
Jun 2019 28 61 11 55.0
May 2019 28 62 10 58.1

Supplier Deliveries

The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 50.5 percent, which is 1 percent lower than 51.5 registered in July. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: “Faster rail delivery” and “Difficulties for factories in lining up flatbed truck and drivers.”

The four industries reporting slower deliveries in August are: Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Accommodation & Food Services; and Information. The six industries reporting faster deliveries — listed in order — are: Other Services; Educational Services; Construction; Public Administration; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Finance & Insurance. Eight industries reported no change in supplier deliveries in August compared to July.

Supplier Deliveries% Slower% Same% FasterIndex
Aug 2019 5 91 4 50.5
Jul 2019 7 89 4 51.5
Jun 2019 8 87 5 51.5
May 2019 4 91 5 49.5

Inventories*

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Inventories Index grew in August, registering 55 percent, 5 percentage points higher than the 50 percent reported in July. Of the total respondents in August, 30 percent indicated they do not have inventories or do not measure them. Comments from respondents include: “Bringing in new/additional products to stock” and “Increased inventory for fourth-quarter peak season buildup.”

The 11 industries reporting an increase in inventories in August — listed in order — are: Utilities; Educational Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Retail Trade; Construction; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Finance & Insurance. The seven industries reporting a decrease in inventories are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Mining; Public Administration; Management of Companies & Support Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Information.

Inventories% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 22 66 12 55.0
Jul 2019 15 70 15 50.0
Jun 2019 23 64 13 55.0
May 2019 21 66 13 54.0

Prices paid by non-manufacturing organizations for materials and services increased in August for the 27th consecutive month. ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Prices Index registered 58.2 percent; 1.7 percentage points higher than the 56.5 percent reported in July.

Twelve non-manufacturing industries reported an increase in prices paid during the month of August, listed in the following order: Management of Companies & Support Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Information; Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Educational Services; Wholesale Trade; Health Care & Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Public Administration; Retail Trade; and Utilities. The only industry that reported a decrease in prices in August is Mining.

Prices% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 20 74 6 58.2
Jul 2019 21 73 6 56.5
Jun 2019 27 65 8 58.9
May 2019 21 76 3 55.4
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 August. The index registered 49 percent, which is 4.5 percentage points lower than the 53.5 percent reported in July. Of the total respondents in August, 41 percent indicated they do not measure backlog of orders.

The six industries reporting an increase in order backlogs in August — listed in order — are: Management of Companies & Support Services; Other Services; Mining; Health Care & Social Assistance; Finance & Insurance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The eight industries that reported a decrease in backlogs in August are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Educational Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; and Construction.

Backlog of Orders% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 12 74 14 49.0
Jul 2019 18 71 11 53.5
Jun 2019 23 66 11 56.0
May 2019 14 77 9 52.5

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 for the 31st consecutive month. The New Export Orders Index registered 50.5 percent in August, which is 3 percentage points lower than the 53.5 percent that was reported in July. Of the total respondents in August, 62 percent indicated they either do not perform, or do not separately measure, orders for work outside of the U.S.

The three industries reporting an increase in new export orders in August are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Information; and Construction. The eight industries that reported a decrease in exports in August are: Utilities; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Educational Services; Mining; Other Services; Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Seven industries reported no change in exports in August compared to July.

New Export Orders% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 11 79 10 50.5
Jul 2019 13 81 6 53.5
Jun 2019 20 71 9 55.5
May 2019 13 85 2 55.5

The Imports Index decreased, registering 50.5 percent in August which is 3 percentage points lower than the 53.5 percent that was registered in July. Fifty-three percent of respondents reported that they do not use, or do not track the use of, imported materials.

The six industries reporting an increase in imports for the month of August — listed in order — are: Finance & Insurance; Utilities; Accommodation & Food Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Information. The five industries that reported a decrease in imports in August are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Management of Companies & Support Services; Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; and Construction. Seven industries reported no change in imports in August as compared to July.

Imports% Higher% Same% LowerIndex
Aug 2019 11 79 10 50.5
Jul 2019 10 87 3 53.5
Jun 2019 9 82 9 50.0
May 2019 8 84 8 50.0

Inventory Sentiment

The ISM® Non-Manufacturing Inventory Sentiment Index in August registered 56 percent, 4.5 percentage points lower than the 60.5 percent reading in July. This indicates that respondents believe their inventories are still too high.

The seven industries reporting sentiment that their inventories were too high in August — listed in order — are: Educational Services; Wholesale Trade; Utilities; Information; Retail Trade; Construction; and Mining. The four industries reporting a feeling that their inventories were too low in August are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; Accommodation & Food Services; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

Inventory Sentiment% Too High% About Right% Too LowIndex
Aug 2019 17 78 5 56.0
Jul 2019 23 75 2 60.5
Jun 2019 23 71 6 58.5
May 2019 21 75 4 58.5

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 August 2019.

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 48.6 percent, over time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 48.6 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 48.6 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 the September 2019 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

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