ISM: Service sector expands in July

The ISM Services Index registered 56.7% in July, 1.4 percentage points higher than the June reading of 55.3%. This reading represents the 26th straight month of growth for the services sector.

Thirteen service industries reported growth in July. Accommodation & Food Services survey respondents noted “restaurant sales have softened the past few weeks (due to) post-holiday and seasonality factors, but we’re also hearing because of consumer pressures, particularly fuel and food prices,” Construction survey respondents said, “interest rate have significantly impacted the homebuilding market,” and Educational Services respondents remarked that “higher education is growing, with an increase in applicants.”

The Business Activity Index registered 59.9% in July, an increase of 3.8 percentage points from the June reading of 56.1%.

Service sector employment contracted in July, and registered 49.1%, 1.7 percentage points higher than June’s reading of 47.4%. Eight industries reported growth in employment for the month.

The New Orders Index was 59.9%, up 4.3 percentage points from the prior month’s reading of 55.6%. Comments from respondents include: “Requests for new business” and “Moderate volume increases over the previous month.”

The supplier deliveries index registered 57.8% in July, down 4.1 percentage points from the prior month. A reading above 50% indicates slower deliveries.

Read the ISM release.