NMI® at 57.3%; GDP Growing at 3%; February 2020 Non-Manufac

|Mar 4|magazine61 min read

Business Activity Index at 57.8%; New Orders Index at 63.1%; Employment Index at 55.6%

TEMPE, Ariz., March 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in February for the 121st consecutive month, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P., CFPM, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: "The NMI® registered 57.3 percent, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than the January reading of 55.5 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, at a faster rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 57.8 percent, 3.1 percentage points lower than the January reading of 60.9 percent, reflecting growth for the 127th consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 63.1 percent; 6.9 percentage points higher than the reading of 56.2 percent in January. The Employment Index increased 2.5 percentage points in February to 55.6 percent from the January reading of 53.1 percent. The Prices Index reading of 50.8 is 4.7 percentage points lower than the January's 55.5 percent, indicating that prices increased in February for the 33rd consecutive month. According to the NMI®, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The non-manufacturing sector reflected continued growth in February. Most respondents are concerned about the coronavirus and its supply chain impact. They also continue to have difficulty with labor resources. They do remain positive about business conditions and the overall economy."

INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE
The 16 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Construction; Health Care & Social Assistance; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Utilities; Information; and Retail Trade. The two industries reporting a decrease in February are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • "[The] coronavirus has increased lead times for the critical items." (Construction)
  • "[First-quarter numbers] are slightly behind projections, but still positive." (Finance & Insurance)
  • "Because of the coronavirus, we are looking at major back-orders in masks, gloves, and PPE (personal protection equipment). A lot of the masks are manufactured in China, so not only are we facing a shortage because of the virus, there is a drastic shortage because the masks are manufactured where the virus originated." (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • "Business is rapidly improving." (Management of Companies & Support Services)
  • "The business outlook remains positive, but foggy due to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak. The mining industry is well dependent on Chinese consumption. On the other side, it is difficult to [make] sourcing decisions, since it is not clear how long China will need to return to normal production capacity, and if it is worth it to pay more from other countries." (Mining)
  • "The outlook appears positive, as our order book is nearing full capacity for the first half of 2020." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • "Construction activity appears to be getting off to a good start for 2020." (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing)
  • "A post-holiday slow period for retail. Business is strong overall; however, volume and inventories are lower due to the season. Pricing is still in check, with specialty labor the primary price risk." (Retail Trade)
  • "A shortage of workers at several levels is impacting the quality of employees we are looking to hire for capital projects we need to start." (Transportation & Warehousing)

 

ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE

COMPARISON OF ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING AND ISM® MANUFACTURING SURVEYS*

February 2020

Index

Non-Manufacturing

Manufacturing

Series
Index

Feb

Series
Index

Jan

Percent
Point
Change

 

 

Direction

 

Rate of Change

 

Trend**

(Months)

Series
Index

Feb

Series
Index

Jan

Percent
Point
Change

NMI®/PMI®

57.3

55.5

+1.8

Growing

Faster

121

50.1

50.9

-0.8

Business Activity/

Production

57.8

60.9

-3.1

Growing

Slower

127

50.3

54.3

-4.0

New Orders

63.1

56.2

+6.9

Growing

Faster

127

49.8

52.0

-2.2

Employment

55.6

53.1

+2.5

Growing

Faster

72

46.9

46.6

+0.3

Supplier Deliveries

52.4

51.7

+0.7

Slowing

Faster

9

57.3

52.9

+4.4

Inventories

53.9

46.5

+7.4

Growing

From Contracting

1

46.5

48.8

-2.3

Prices

50.8

55.5

-4.7

Increasing

Slower

33

45.9

53.3

-7.4

Backlog of Orders

53.2

45.5

+7.7

Growing

From Contracting

1

50.3

45.7

+4.6

New Export Orders

55.6

50.1

+5.5

Growing

Faster

4

51.2

53.3

-2.1

Imports

52.6

55.1

-2.5

Growing

 

Slower

 

2

42.6

51.3

-8.7

Inventory Sentiment

59.3

54.9

+4.4

Too High

Faster

272

N/A

N/A

N/A

Customers' Inventories

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

41.8

43.8

-2.0

Overall Economy

Growing

Faster

127


Non-Manufacturing Sector

Growing

Faster

121


*Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for the Business Activity, New Orders, Prices and Employment indexes. Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventory indexes.
**Number of months moving in current direction.

COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE, AND IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price
Beef Products (3); Construction Contractors; Diesel Fuel*; Labor (2); Labor — Construction (2); Medical Supplies; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Pharmaceuticals (2); and Professional Services.

Commodities Down in Price
Cheese; Dairy; Diesel Fuel* (2); and Gasoline.

Commodities in Short Supply
Construction Contractors (4); Construction Subcontractors (26); Labor (17); Labor — Construction (47); Labor — Temporary (8); Medical Supplies; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Professional Services; Surgical Gowns (2); Surgical Masks; and Surgical Packs.

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.
*Indicates both up and down in price.

FEBRUARY 2020 NON-MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES

NMI®
In February, the NMI® registered 57.3 percent, 1.8 percentage points higher than the 55.5 percent in January. This is the highest reading since February 2019, when the index registered 58.5 percent. The non-manufacturing sector grew for the 121st consecutive month. A reading above 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

An NMI® above 48.5 percent, over time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the February NMI® indicates growth for the 127th consecutive month in the overall economy and expansion in the non-manufacturing sector for the 121st consecutive month. Nieves says, "The past relationship between the NMI® and the overall economy indicates that the NMI® for February (57.3 percent) corresponds to a 3-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis."

NMI® HISTORY

Month

NMI®

Month

NMI®

Feb 2020

57.3

Aug 2019

56.0

Jan 2020

55.5

Jul 2019

54.8

Dec 2019

54.9

Jun 2019

55.4

Nov 2019

53.9

May 2019

56.3

Oct 2019

54.4

Apr 2019

55.7

Sep 2019

53.5

Mar 2019

56.3

Average for 12 months – 55.3

High – 57.3

Low – 53.5

 

Business Activity
ISM®'s Business Activity Index registered 57.8 percent in February, a decrease of 3.1 percentage points from the January reading of 60.9 percent. This represents growth in business activity for the 127th consecutive month. Thirteen industries reported increased business activity. Comments from respondents include: "Strong consumer demand" and "New accounts and demand for existing clients."

The 13 industries reporting growth of business activity in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; Transportation & Warehousing; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Other Services. The three industries reporting a decrease in business activity for the month of February are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Information; and Utilities.

Business Activity

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

34.0

56.7

9.2

57.8

Jan 2020

29.7

53.0

17.3

60.9

Dec 2019

27

52

21

57.0

Nov 2019

24

56

20

52.3

New Orders
ISM®'s Non-Manufacturing New Orders Index registered 63.1 percent, an increase of 6.9 percentage points from the January reading of 56.2 percent. This is the highest reading since June 2018, when the index also registered 63.1 percent. New orders grew for the 127th consecutive month, at a faster rate compared with January. Comments from respondents include: "Increased to support the level of business" and "Requests continue to come in for future planned work."

The 16 industries reporting growth of new orders in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Construction; Transportation & Warehousing; Finance & Insurance; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; Other Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; and Utilities. The only industry reporting contraction in February is Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.

New Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

39.6

52.3

8.0

63.1

Jan 2020

26.2

51.2

22.7

56.2

Dec 2019

25

55

20

55.3

Nov 2019

28

57

15

56.7

Employment
Employment activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in February for the 72nd consecutive month. ISM®'s Non-Manufacturing Employment Index registered 55.6 percent, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the January reading of 53.1 percent. Eleven industries reported increased employment, and five industries reported decreased employment. Comments from respondents include: "Hiring labor needed to complete work order backlog" and "Human resources is working off their backlog."

The 11 industries reporting an increase in employment in February — listed in order — are: Other Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Mining; Construction; Public Administration; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The five industries reporting a reduction in employment in February are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Information; Transportation & Warehousing; and Utilities.

Employment

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

20.2

67.5

12.3

55.6

Jan 2020

16.9

69.4

13.7

53.1

Dec 2019

21

67

12

54.8

Nov 2019

21

66

13

54.9

Supplier Deliveries
The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 52.4 percent, which is 0.7 percentage point higher than the 51.7 percent reported in January. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: "Certain supplies delayed due to coronavirus-impacted countries" and "Suppliers cannot keep up with increased demand."

The 11 industries reporting slower deliveries in February — listed in order — are: Information; Wholesale Trade; Utilities; Health Care & Social Assistance; Other Services; Construction; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; and Educational Services. The two industries reporting faster deliveries in February are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing.

Supplier Deliveries

%Slower

%Same

%Faster

Index

Feb 2020

10.4

84.0

5.6

52.4

Jan 2020

11.3

80.9

7.8

51.7

Dec 2019

9

87

4

52.5

Nov 2019

8

87

5

51.5

Inventories
ISM®'s Non-Manufacturing Inventories Index grew in February after a month of contraction, registering 53.9 percent, which is 7.4 percentage points higher than the 46.5 percent reported in January. Of the total respondents in February, 39.1 percent indicated they do not have inventories or do not measure them. Comments from respondents include: "Bringing in additional product due to the flu season and the coronavirus" and "Continue to add inventory to meet higher demand."

The eight industries reporting an increase in inventories in February — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Finance & Insurance; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Public Administration. The nine industries reporting a decrease in inventories in February — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Construction; Information; Other Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Retail Trade; Educational Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; and Utilities.

Inventories

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

21.6

64.6

13.8

53.9

Jan 2020

19.8

53.5

26.8

46.5

Dec 2019

22

58

20

51.0

Nov 2019

20

61

19

50.5

Prices
Prices paid by non-manufacturing organizations for materials and services increased in February for the 33rd consecutive month. ISM®'s Non-Manufacturing Prices Index registered 50.8 percent, which is 4.7 percentage points lower than the 55.5 that was reported in January. This is the lowest reading since May 2017, when the index registered 49.6 percent.

The 10 non-manufacturing industries that reported an increase in prices paid during the month of February — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Utilities; Construction; Transportation & Warehousing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Public Administration; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Wholesale Trade; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The five industries that reported a decrease in prices in February are: Accommodation & Food Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Mining; Information; and Finance & Insurance.

Prices

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

11.1

80.4

8.5

50.8

Jan 2020

15.6

79.7

4.7

55.5

Dec 2019

16

79

5

59.3

Nov 2019

18

76

6

58.8

NOTE: Commodities reported as up in price and down in price are listed in the commodities section of this report.

Backlog of Orders
ISM®'s Non-Manufacturing Backlog of Orders Index grew in February for the first time since September 2019. The index registered 53.2 percent, which is the 7.7 percentage points higher than the 45.5 percent reported in January. Of the total respondents in February, 50.4 percent indicated they do not measure backlog of orders.

The nine industries reporting an increase in order backlogs in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Construction; Educational Services; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Public Administration; Management of Companies & Support Services; Transportation & Warehousing; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The five industries that reported a decrease in backlogs in February are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Mining; Wholesale Trade; and Utilities.

Backlog of Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

21.0

64.3

14.7

53.2

Jan 2020

12.7

65.7

21.7

45.5

Dec 2019

11

73

16

47.5

Nov 2019

14

69

17

48.5

New Export Orders
Orders and requests for services and other non-manufacturing activities to be provided outside of the U.S. by domestically based personnel grew in February. The New Export Orders Index registered 55.6 percent in February, which is 5.5 percentage points higher than the 50.1 percent reported in January. This is the highest reading since April 2019, when the index registered 57 percent. Of the total respondents in February, 71.7 percent indicated they either do not perform, or do not separately measure, orders for work outside of the U.S.

The seven industries reporting an increase in new export orders in February — listed in order — are: Management of Companies & Support Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Construction; and Information. The three industries that reported a decrease in exports in February are: Public Administration; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Wholesale Trade. Eight industries reported no change in exports in February compared to January.

New Export Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

21.1

69.0

9.9

55.6

Jan 2020

8.4

83.4

8.2

50.1

Dec 2019

10

82

8

51.0

Nov 2019

13

78

9

52.0

Imports
The Imports Index grew for the second consecutive month following four consecutive months of contraction. The index registered 52.6 percent in February, 2.5 percentage points lower than January's figure of 55.1 percent. Among respondents in February, 69.6 percent reported that they do not use, or do not track the use of, imported materials.

The five industries reporting an increase in imports for the month of February are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Wholesale Trade. The five industries that reported a decrease in imports in February are: Information; Accommodation & Food Services; Retail Trade; Educational Services; and Construction. Eight industries reported no change in imports in February as compared to January.

Imports

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Feb 2020

13.0

79.0

7.9

52.6

Jan 2020

17.2

75.8

7.0

55.1

Dec 2019

11

74

15

48.0

Nov 2019

3

84

13

45.0

Inventory Sentiment
The ISM® Non-Manufacturing Inventory Sentiment Index in February registered 59.3 percent, 4.4 percentage points higher than the 54.9 percent reading in January. This indicates that respondents believe their inventories are still too high.

The 11 industries reporting sentiment that their inventories were too high in February — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Retail Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Wholesale Trade; Other Services; Mining; Construction; Information; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Utilities. The two industries reporting a feeling that their inventories were too low in February are: Transportation & Warehousing and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

Inventory
Sentiment

%Too

High

%About
Right

%Too

Low

Index

Feb 2020

23.2

72.1

4.7

59.3

Jan 2020

14.4

80.9

4.7

54.9

Dec 2019

25

70

5

60.0

Nov 2019

23

71

6

58.5

About This Report
DO NOT CONFUSE THIS NATIONAL REPORT with the various regional purchasing reports released across the country. The national report's information reflects the entire U.S., while the regional reports contain primarily regional data from their local vicinities. Also, the information in the regional reports is not used in calculating the results of the national report. The information compiled in this report is for the month of February 2020.

The data presented herein is obtained from a survey of non-manufacturing supply executives based on information they have collected within their respective organizations. ISM® makes no representation, other than that stated within this release, regarding the individual company data collection procedures. The data should be compared to all other economic data sources when used in decision-making.

Data and Method of Presentation
The Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. Membership of the Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee is diversified by NAICS, based on each industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). The Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee responses are divided into the following NAICS code categories: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Information; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; and Other Services (services such as Equipment & Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning & Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services).

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (Business Activity, New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Inventory Change, Inventory Sentiment, Imports, Prices, Employment and Supplier Deliveries), this report shows the percentage reporting each response and the diffusion index. Responses represent raw data and are never changed. Data is seasonally adjusted for Business Activity, New Orders, Prices and Employment. All seasonal adjustment factors are subject annually to relatively minor changes when conditions warrant them. The remaining indexes have not indicated significant seasonality.

The NMI® (Non-Manufacturing Index) is a composite index based on the diffusion indexes for four of the indicators with equal weights: Business Activity (seasonally adjusted), New Orders (seasonally adjusted), Employment (seasonally adjusted) and Supplier Deliveries. Diffusion indexes have the properties of leading indicators and are convenient summary measures showing the prevailing direction of change and the scope of change. An index reading above 50 percent indicates that the non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining. Supplier Deliveries is an exception. A Supplier Deliveries Index above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries and below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries.

An NMI® above 48.5 percent, over time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 48.5 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 48.5 percent is indicative of the strength of the expansion or decline.

The Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® survey is sent out to Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee respondents the first part of each month. Respondents are asked to ONLY report on information for the current month. ISM® receives survey responses throughout most of any given month, with the majority of respondents generally waiting until late in the month to submit responses in order to give the most accurate picture of current business activity. ISM® then compiles the report for release on the third business day of the following month.

The industries reporting growth, as indicated in the Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® monthly report, are listed in the order of most growth to least growth. For the industries reporting contraction or decreases, those are listed in the order of the highest level of contraction/decrease to the least level of contraction/decrease.

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Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) serves supply management professionals in more than 90 countries. Its 50,000 members around the world manage about US$1 trillion in corporate and government supply chain procurement annually. Founded in 1915 as the first supply management institute in the world, ISM is committed to advancing the practice of supply management to drive value and competitive advantage for its members, contributing to a prosperous and sustainable world. ISM leads the profession through the ISM Report On Business®, its highly regarded certification programs and the ISM Mastery Model®. This report has been issued by the association since 1931, except for a four-year interruption during World War II.

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The next Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® featuring March 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Friday, April 3, 2020.

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Contact:           

Kristina Cahill


Report On Business® Analyst


ISM®, ROB/Research Manager


Tempe, Arizona


+1 480.455.5910


Email: [email protected]

 

 

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SOURCE Institute for Supply Management