ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Contracts Again in May

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index contracted in May for the second consecutive month. The index registered 45.4% in May, 3.6 percentage points higher than the April reading.

Four of the eighteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth. Many respondents “remain concerned about the ongoing impact of the coronavirus. Additionally, many of the respondents’ respective companies are hoping and/or planning for a resumption of business.”

The Business Activity Index registered 41.0% in May, a 15 percentage point increase from the April reading of 26.0%. This represents the third consecutive month of contraction.

Non-manufacturing employment contracted for the third month in a row and registered 31.8%, an increase of 1.8 percentage points from the April reading of 30.0%. No industries reported increased employment.

The New Orders Index registered 41.9%, an increase of 9 percentage points from the April reading of 32.9%. This is the second consecutive contraction in New Orders after 128 consecutive months of expansion. Comments from respondents include: “COVID-19 has slowed a lot of projects and even caused some to cancel” and “Businesses are strategizing on how to reopen.”

Supplier deliveries slowed yet again, as the index registered 67.0%, which is 11.3 percentage points below than the 78.3% reported in April. A reading above 50% indicates slower deliveries.

Read the ISM release.