ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index: The Institute of Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index increased by 1.3 points month-over-month, (2.3% m/m,) to 57.2 in December 2020.

The ISM nonmanufacturing survey measures the rate and direction of change in activity in nonmanufacturing industries. Surveys are sent to more than 400 purchasing managers in 19 industries. Survey responses reflect the change in the current month compared with the previous month. A value of 50 is neutral, while less than 50 is contracting and greater than 50 is expansionary.

Figure 1 breaks down the detail of the composite index and sub-indexes. The composite index score for December was 57.2. One year ago, the composite index was strong at 54.9.

The 14 services industries reporting growth in December — listed in order — are: Management of Companies & Support Services; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Health Care & Social Assistance; Transportation & Warehousing; Finance & Insurance; Utilities; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Information; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Mining; Public Administration; Construction; and Educational Services. The four industries reporting contraction in December are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Other Services; and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing.

An Institute for Supply Management respondent stated, “Lack of labor continues to be a significant drag on the business. We have plenty of work but are now considering rejecting some orders due to shrinking capacity.” (Construction)

At Gerdau we closely monitor the ISM non-manufacturing index since it is an excellent barometer of the present strength as well as a window on the likely short-run future of US nonmanufacturing economy. We have seen that a strengthening nonmanufacturing economy translates to improved steel consumption.

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