ISM: Services Sector Experiences Growth in November Despite ‘Slight Pullback’

Economic activity in the services sector grew in November for the sixth month in a row, according to the latest Services ISM Report On Business from the Institute for Supply Management.

“The Services PMI registered 55.9 percent, 0.7 percentage point lower than the October reading of 56.6 percent. This reading represents a sixth straight month of growth for the services sector, which has expanded for all but two of the last 130 months,” Anthony Nieves, CPSM, CPM, APP, CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management services business survey committee. “The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 57 percent, up 0.8 percentage point from October’s reading of 56.2 percent. (Supplier Deliveries is the only ISM Report On Business index that is inversed; a reading of above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, which is typical as the economy improves and customer demand increases.)

“The Prices Index figure of 66.1 percent is 2.2 percentage points higher than the October reading of 63.9 percent, indicating that prices increased in November and at a faster rate. According to the Services PMI, 14 services industries reported growth. The composite index indicated growth for the sixth consecutive month after a two-month contraction in April and May. In November, there continued to be a slight pullback in the rate of growth in the services sector. Respondents’ comments are mixed about business conditions and the economy. Restaurants continue to struggle with capacity constraints and logistics. Most companies are cautious as they navigate operations amid the pandemic and the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election.”

There were 14 services industries that reported growth in November, including finance and insurance, transportation and warehousing, and construction. Real estate, rental and leasing was among the four industries that reported contraction in the month.

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