ISM: Service sector expands in August

The ISM Services Index registered 56.9% in August; 0.2 percentage points higher than the July reading of 56.7%. This reading represents the 27th straight month of growth for the services sector.

Fourteen service industries reported growth in August. “Growth continues — at a slightly faster rate — for the services sector, which has expanded for all but two of the last 151 months. The services sector had a slight uptick in growth for the month of August due to increases in business activity, new orders, and employment. Based on comments from Business Survey Committee respondents, there are some supply chain, logistics and cost improvements; however, material shortages remain a challenge. Employment improved slightly despite a restricted labor market.”

The Business Activity Index registered 60.9% in August, an increase of 1.0 percentage points from the July reading of 59.9%.

Service sector employment grew in August, and registered 50.2%, 1.1 percentage points higher than July’s reading of 49.1%. Eight industries reported growth in employment for the month.

The New Orders Index was 60.8%, up 0.9 percentage points from the prior month’s reading of 59.9%. Comments from respondents include: “Starting to see some cost pressures relief; the overall supply environment is healthy.” [Accommodation & Food Services]

The supplier deliveries index registered 54.4% in August, down 3.3 percentage points from the prior month. A reading above 50% indicates slower deliveries.

Read the ISM release.