ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased to 45.4% in May

The May ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 45.4%, up from 41.8% in April. The employment index increased to 31.8%, from 30.0%. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

From the Institute for Supply Management: May 2020 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector contracted in May for the second 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 45.4 percent, 3.6 percentage points higher than the April reading of 41.8 percent. This reading represents contraction in the non-manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month, following a 122-month period of expansion. The Business Activity Index increased 15 percentage points from April’s figure, registering 41 percent. The New Orders Index registered 41.9 percent; 9 percentage points higher than the reading of 32.9 percent in April. The Employment Index increased to 31.8 percent; 1.8 percentage points higher than the April reading of 30 percent.

“The Supplier Deliveries Index registered at 67 percent, down 11.3 percentage points from April’s all-time-high reading of 78.3 percent, which elevated the composite NMI®. The Supplier Deliveries Index is one of four equally weighted subindexes that directly factor into the NMI®, along with Business Activity, New Orders and Employment. Supplier Deliveries is the only ISM® Report On Business® index that is inversed; a reading of above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, which is typical as the economy improves and customer demand increases. The higher readings for supplier deliveries the past three months are primarily a product of supply problems related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
emphasis added

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the ISM non-manufacturing index (started in January 2008) and the ISM non-manufacturing employment diffusion index.

The headline index understated the weakness in the survey. The Supplier Deliveries index once again boosted the composite NMI, but the employment index was near last month’s record low.