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Considering ISM PMI® and IHS Markit PMI

January 22, 2020


There have been questions recently as to whether ISM’s economic indicators are different from other economic indicators.

The ISM® Report On Business® featuring the PMI® and NMI® have been published by ISM since 1931. Data from ISM’s monthly reports is one of the most reliable tools to help gauge the direction of the U.S. economy, and to assist someone in making business decisions. Below are 14 important things to know about ISM’s economic data:

  • ISM was approached by President Hoover in 1931 to create an index that measured the health of the U.S. economy
  • ISM has been compiling this data for more than 80 years
  • As a not-for-profit, the primary purpose of ISM’s data is to serve the supply management profession and the greater economic community
  • ISM’s Business Survey Committees includes more than 800 qualified panelists and continues to grow
  • ISM provides our report data at no cost
  • ISM’s panelists participate to serve the greater good of the U.S. economy
  • Panelists are senior-level supply management professionals
  • ISM panels include small, mid-sized and large companies
  • ISM panels are weighted according to sector/subsector contribution to GDP
  • When computing the PMI® and NMI®, all incorporated subindexes are included at equal weight
  • ISM only includes U.S. data
  • You do not have to be a member of ISM to participate in the surveys
  • ISM uses a recognized standard for the annual seasonal adjustments
  • ISM has strict requirements for joining our panel, which includes continuous education

While others’ surveys may appear to cover the same concepts as ISM’s surveys, caution should be exercised in making comparisons since question formulations, survey methodologies, and sampling approaches are not the same. These differences in execution will result in differing point estimates.



About ISM®
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 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® is posted on ISM®'s website at on the first business day* of every month after 10:00 a.m. ET. The next Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® featuring January 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Monday, February 3, 2020.

*Unless the New York Stock Exchange is closed.