ISM Non-Manufacturing: Slower Growth In January

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) has now released the January Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), also known as the ISM Services PMI. The headline Composite Index is at 56.7 percent, down 1.3 from a revised 58.0 last month. Tuesday's number came in below the Investing.com forecast of 57.2 percent.

Here is the report summary:

“The NMI® registered 56.7 percent, which is 1.3 percentage points lower than the December reading of 58 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, at a slower rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 59.7 percent, 1.5 percentage points lower than the December reading of 61.2 percent, reflecting growth for the 114th consecutive month, at a slower rate in January. The New Orders Index registered 57.7 percent, 5 percentage points lower than the reading of 62.7 percent in December. The Employment Index increased 1.2 percentage points in January to 57.8 percent from the December reading of 56.6 percent. The Prices Index increased 1.4 percentage points from the December reading of 58 percent to 59.4 percent, indicating that prices increased in January for the 20th consecutive month. According to the NMI®, 11 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The non-manufacturing sector’s growth rate cooled off in January. Respondents are concerned about the impacts of the government shutdown but remain mostly optimistic about overall business conditions.” [Source]

Unlike its much older kin, the ISM Manufacturing Series, there is relatively little history for ISM's Non-Manufacturing data, especially for the headline Composite Index, which dates from 2008. The chart below shows the Non-Manufacturing Composite. We have only a single recession to gauge is behavior as a business cycle indicator.

The more interesting and useful subcomponent is the Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index. The latest data point at 59.7 percent is down 1.5 from a seasonally adjusted 61.2 the previous month.

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