ISM: Service sector expanded in September

The ISM Services Index decreased 0.9 percentage points (pp) to 53.6% in September—the ninth consecutive month of expansion for the services sector. However, growth slowed in 9 out of 12 components of the Index.

“Thirteen industries reported growth in September. The Services PMI®— by being above 50 percent for the ninth 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 163 months,” said Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee.

The Business Activity Index increased 1.5 pp to 58.8%. The Supplier Deliveries Index moved back into expansionary territory in September, increasing 1.9 pp to 50.4%. Respondents commented: “Suppliers are still struggling with delivery of products, which has been due largely to resource constraints and productivity issues, particularly with workload and quality,” and “Fill rate is better due to a reduced order volume.”

Growth slowed in other components of the Services Index. The Inventories Index decreased 3.5 pp to 54.2% and the Employment Index decreased 1.3 pp to 53.4%. Respondent commented that, “The labor market remains very competitive; we have lost employees due to normal attrition and are having issues backfilling these positions.” The New Orders Index fell 5.7 pp to 51.8%. Comments from respondents include: “Slightly lower number of new projects” and “Decreased guest traffic.”

Read the ISM release.