ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Growth Picks Up in February

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 59.7 points in February, 3.0 percentage points up from January’s figure. This was the 109th consecutive month of expansion as a reading above 50 indicates growth. All eighteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth. Respondents are concerned about the uncertainty of tariffs, capacity constraints and employment resources; however, they remain mostly optimistic about overall business conditions and the economy.


Growth in the Business Activity Index increased 5.0 percentage points to 64.7, the 115th consecutive month of growth. Sixteen industries reported increased business activity, while only one (Retail Trade) reported decreased activity. Comments from respondents include: “Demand for medical supplies, equipment, services, professional services and construction are all up” and “Activity has picked up after a very sluggish first half of last month.”

Non-manufacturing employment grew for the 60th consecutive month. The index decreased 2.6 points to 55.2. Eleven industries reported increased employment, while four reported decreased employment.

The New Orders Index increased 7.5 points to 65.2. Sixteen industries reported increased business activity, while none reported decreased activity.

Supplier deliveries slowed for the 38th consecutive month, as the index registered 53.5 points (readings above 50 for this index indicate slower deliveries). Seven industries reported slower deliveries, while three industries reported faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: “General increase in U.S. economic activity is straining manufacturers already running at full capacity.”

Read the ISM release.