The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 51.4 points in August, down 4.1 points from the previous month. Despite the decline, August marked the 79th consecutive month of growth as indicated by readings over 50 points. Eleven non-manufacturing industries reported growth in August, although the majority of respondents commented that growth had slowed.
Growth in the Business Activity Index slipped 7.5 points to 51.8. Nine industries reported increased business activity, while six reported contraction. Respondents noted that the mid-summer months traditionally have less activity due to scheduling issues and personnel availability.
Non-manufacturing employment grew in August for the third consecutive month, albeit at a slowing pace; the index slipped 0.7 points to 50.7. Some respondents cited headcount reductions due to restructuring, while others reported numerous open but unfilled positions. Nine industries reported increases in employment, while five industries, including other services and warehousing, reported contractions.
The New Orders index fell 8.9 points to 51.4, indicating that growth slowed significantly. Some respondents reported lower sales and delayed project spending. Eight industries, including finance and insurance, reported growth of new orders, while eight industries reported contraction.
Supplier deliveries slowed for the eighth consecutive month, as the index registered 51.5 points (readings above 50 for this index indicate slower deliveries). Seven industries reported slower deliveries, while seven reported faster deliveries.
Read the ISM release.