ISM: Service sector expanded in August

The ISM Services Index registered 54.5%, 1.8 percentage points (pp) higher than July’s reading of 52.7%. The composite index indicated growth in August for the eighth consecutive month after a reading of 49.3% in December 2022, which was the first contraction since June 2020 (45.4%).

“Thirteen industries reported growth in August. The Services PMI®, by being above 50 percent for the eighth month after a single month of contraction and a prior 30-month period of expansion, continues to indicate sustained growth for the sector. The composite index has indicated expansion for all but three of the previous 162 months,” said Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee.

The Business Activity Index registered 57.3%, a 0.2 pp increase compared to the reading of 57.1% in July. The Inventories Index expanded to 57.7%, up 7.3 pp from July’s figure of 50.4%.

The Employment Index registered 54.7%, up 4 pp from the July figure of 50.7%. Comments from respondents include: “Hiring is stable, with quality employees available.”

The New Orders Index registered 57.5%, 2.5 pp higher than the July reading of 55%. The index expanded in August for the eighth consecutive month after contracting in December for the first time since May 2020. Comments from respondents include: “Sales on a national level have been strong” and “Material availability has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels.”

The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 48.5%, 0.4 pp higher than the 48.1% recorded in July. A reading above 50% indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50% indicates faster deliveries. The August reading indicates supplier deliveries are faster. Comments from respondents include: “Supply chains are operating consistently, though some categories of supply remain constrained” in health care & social assistance and “The supply chain challenges affect a portion of our buys, as they include products and components made outside of the U.S. and are subject to shipping delays and issues.”

Read the ISM release.