The ISM Services Index grew in October for the fifth consecutive month. The index registered 56.6% in October; 1.2 percentage points lower than the September reading. This reading represents a fifth straight month of growth for the services sector, which has expanded for all but two of the last 129 months.
Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth. Many respondents are “cautiously optimistic about business conditions and the economy. There is a degree of uncertainty due to the pandemic, capacity constraints, logistics and the elections.”
The Business Activity Index registered 61.2% in October, a 1.8 percentage point decrease from the September reading of 63.0%. This represents growth for the fifth consecutive month.
Service sector employment grew for the second consecutive month after sixth months of contraction and registered 50.1%, down 1.7 percentage points from the September reading of 51.8%. Six industries reported increased employment.
The New Orders Index registered 58.8%, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the September reading of 61.5%. This is the fifth consecutive month of growth in New Orders. Comments from respondents include: “New work orders” and “Some new business has been awarded.”
Supplier deliveries remained slow, as the index read 56.2%, which is 1.3 percentage points lower than the 54.9% reported in September. A reading above 50% indicates slower deliveries.
Read the ISM release.