January 2020 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business: NMI at 55.5% GDP Growing at 2.4%



Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in January for the 120th consecutive month, according to the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

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

The report was issued by Anthony Nieves, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management  Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, who said: “The NMI registered 55.5%, which is 0.6 percentage point higher than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 54.9%. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, at a slightly faster rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 60.9%, 3.9 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 57.0%, reflecting growth for the 126th consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 56.2%; 0.9 percentage point higher than the seasonally adjusted reading of 55.3% in December. The Employment Index decreased 1.7 percentage points in January to 53.1% from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 54.8%. The Prices Index of 55.5 is 3.8 percentage points lower than the seasonally adjusted December reading of 59.3%, 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.”

INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE
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

IndexNon-ManufacturingManufacturing
Series
Index

Jan

Series
Index

Dec

Percent
Point
Change
 

 

Direction

 

Rate of Change

 

Trend**

(Months)

Series
Index

Jan

Series
Index

Dec

Percent
Point
Change
NMI/PMI55.554.9+0.6GrowingFaster12050.947.8+3.1
Business Activity/

Production

60.957.0+3.9GrowingFaster12654.344.8+9.5
New Orders56.255.3+0.9GrowingFaster12652.047.6+4.4
Employment53.154.8-1.7GrowingSlower7146.645.2+1.4
Supplier Deliveries51.752.5-0.8SlowingSlower852.952.2+0.7
Inventories46.551.0-4.5ContractingFrom Growing148.849.2-0.4
Prices55.559.3-3.8IncreasingSlower3253.351.7+1.6
Backlog of Orders45.547.5-2.0ContractingFaster445.743.3+2.4
New Export Orders50.151.0-0.9GrowingSlower353.347.3+6.0
Imports55.148.0+7.1GrowingFrom Contracting151.348.8+2.5
Inventory Sentiment54.960.0-5.1Too HighSlower271N/AN/AN/A
Customers’ InventoriesN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A43.841.1+2.7
Overall EconomyGrowingFaster126
Non-Manufacturing SectorGrowingFaster120

*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

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

An NMI above 48.5%, 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%) corresponds to a 2.4-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis.”

NMI HISTORY

MonthNMIMonthNMI
Jan 202055.5Jul 201954.8
Dec 201954.9Jun 201955.4
Nov 201953.9May 201956.3
Oct 201954.4Apr 201955.7
Sep 201953.5Mar 201956.3
Aug 201956.0Feb 201958.5
Average for 12 months – 55.4

High – 58.5

Low – 53.5

Business Activity
ISM’s Business Activity Index registered 60.9% in January, an increase of 3.9 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 57%. 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 202029.753.017.360.9
Dec 201927522157.0
Nov 201924562052.3
Oct 201930521855.5

New Orders
ISM’s Non-Manufacturing New Orders Index registered 56.2%, an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 55.3%. 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 202026.251.222.756.2
Dec 201925552055.3
Nov 201928571556.7
Oct 201926561855.6

Employment
Employment activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in January for the 71st consecutive month. ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Employment Index registered 53.1%, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 54.8%. 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 202016.969.413.753.1
Dec 201921671254.8
Nov 201921661354.9
Oct 201922651353.9

Supplier Deliveries
The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 51.7%, which is 0.8 percentage point lower than the 52.5% reported in December. A reading above 50% indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50% 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 202011.380.97.851.7
Dec 2019987452.5
Nov 2019887551.5
Oct 2019889352.5

Inventories
ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Inventories Index contracted in January, registering 46.5%, which is 4.5 percentage points lower than the seasonally adjusted 51% reported in December. Of the total respondents in January, 30.6% 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 202019.853.526.846.5
Dec 201922582051.0
Nov 201920611950.5
Oct 201919631850.5

Prices
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% 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 202015.679.74.755.5
Dec 20191679559.3
Nov 20191876658.8
Oct 20191974757.3

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%, which is 2 percentage points lower than the 47.5% reported in December. Of the total respondents in January, 33.4% 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 202012.765.721.745.5
Dec 201911731647.5
Nov 201914691748.5
Oct 201914691748.5

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% in January, which is 0.9 percentage point lower than the 51% reported in December. Of the total respondents in January, 67.5% 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 20208.483.48.250.1
Dec 20191082851.0
Nov 20191378952.0
Oct 2019884850.0

Imports
The Imports Index grew after four consecutive months of contraction. The index registered 55.1% in January, 7.1 percentage points higher than December’s figure of 48%. 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 202017.275.87.055.1
Dec 201911741548.0
Nov 20193841345.0
Oct 2019587848.5

Inventory Sentiment
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Inventory Sentiment Index in January registered 54.9%, 5.1 percentage points lower than the 60% 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
%Too

High

%About
Right
%Too

Low

Index
Jan 202014.480.94.754.9
Dec 20192570560.0
Nov 20192371658.5
Oct 20192074657.0

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% indicates that the non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally declining. Supplier Deliveries is an exception. A Supplier Deliveries Index above 50% indicates slower deliveries and below 50% indicates faster deliveries.

An NMI above 48.5%, over time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 48.5%, it is generally declining. The distance from 50% or 48.5% 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 February 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

*Unless the New York Stock Exchange is closed.

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