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ISM: U.S. Services Sector Grew for 32nd Consecutive Month in August

September 07, 2012, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Economy

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in August for the 32nd 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, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The NMI™ registered 53.7 percent in August, 1.1 percentage points higher than the 52.6 percent registered in July. This indicates continued growth this month at a slighter faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 55.6 percent, which is 1.6 percentage points lower than the 57.2 percent reported in July, reflecting growth for the 37th consecutive month. The New Orders Index decreased by 0.6 percentage point to 53.7 percent. The Employment Index increased by 4.5 percentage points to 53.8 percent, indicating growth in employment after one month of contraction. The Prices Index increased 9.4 percentage points to 64.3 percent, indicating substantially higher month-over-month prices when compared to July. According to the NMI™, 10 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in August. Respondents' comments continue to be mixed, and for the most part reflect uncertainty about business conditions and the economy."

Industry Performance

The 10 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in August — listed in order — are:

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
  • Finance & Insurance
  • Accommodation & Food Services
  • Utilities
  • Management of Companies & Support Services
  • Retail Trade
  • Real Estate, Rental & Leasing
  • Transportation & Warehousing
  • Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
  • Other Services

The five industries reporting contraction in August are:

  • Mining
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Information
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
  • Health Care & Social Assistance

What Respondents are Saying

  • "Markets and customers we serve remain strong and have not caused any adverse impact to our business." (Management of Companies & Support Services)
  • "Economy still stagnant. Small jobs keeping us going. Expect some improvement in capital spending in fourth quarter." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • "Small slowdown in tourism. Commodity prices on the rise." (Arts, Entertainment & Recreation)
  • "Budgets are tighter; there are fewer new purchases being pursued that were not planned or budgeted." (Finance & Insurance)
  • "Overall conditions continue to be unpredictable. Sales are inconsistent as customers reel to the news of the day, which creates havoc on the supply chain to respond."(Retail Trade)
  • "Customers appear to be refocusing their resources on internal costs and efficiencies." (Wholesale Trade)

Read the full August 2012 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

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