The NMI metric of the Institute for Supply Management’s Non-Manufacturing (ISM) Report on Business was a reading of 54.4 in September. This is down from the 58.6 reading in August but is still a greater than 50 reading, indicating economic expansion in the services sector, albeit at a slower pace.
Performance by industry:
The 11 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in September — listed in order — are: Retail Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Construction; Utilities; Information; Finance & Insurance; Other Services; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Public Administration. The four industries reporting contraction in September are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Mining.
What the respondents are saying:
- “Overall business conditions are slowing — small manpower decrease of 5 percent.” (Construction)
- “Business levels continue to be strong. Shifting from transient to group travelers.” (Accommodation & Food Services)
- “Increased activity following summer vacations, but several postponements as well. Clients still unsure about the economy and business costs (e.g., healthcare).” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
- “The federal government’s spending is increasing greatly as agencies execute their final budgets and utilize fiscal year 2013 appropriated funds prior to their expiration on September 30th. This has caused a major increase in procurement activity for goods and services. Budgets are uncertain for fiscal year 2014, so some items requiring funding in future years are not being purchased.” (Public Administration)
- “Business has leveled off — not much in the way of growth.” (Retail Trade)
- “Some pick-up in sequential sales growth, but still flat with last year.” (Wholesale Trade)
Where leading U.S. business surveys currently stand: