Services PMI™ at 55.9%; November 2020 Services ISM® Report On Business®

Business Activity Index at 58%; New Orders Index at 57.2%; Employment Index at 51.5%; Supplier Deliveries Index at 57%

TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic activity in the services sector grew in November for the sixth month in a row, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Services 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®) Services Business Survey Committee: "The Services PMI registered 55.9 percent, 0.7 percentage point lower than the October reading of 56.6 percent. This reading represents a sixth straight month of growth for the services sector, which has expanded for all but two of the last 130 months.

"The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 57 percent, up 0.8 percentage point from October's reading of 56.2 percent. (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 Prices Index figure of 66.1 percent is 2.2 percentage points higher than the October reading of 63.9 percent, indicating that prices increased in November, and at a faster rate. According to the Services PMI, 14 services industries reported growth. The composite index indicated growth for the sixth consecutive month after a two-month contraction in April and May. In November, there continued to be a slight pullback in the rate of growth in the services sector. Respondents' comments are mixed about business conditions and the economy. Restaurants continue to struggle with capacity constraints and logistics. Most companies are cautious as they navigate operations amid the pandemic and the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election," says Nieves.

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

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • "Conflicting national, regional, and local guidelines/requirements for COVID-19 issues are becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, leading to a lot of just in time (JIT)-type purchases." (Accommodation & Food Services)
  • "Business is pushing to complete projects due to seasonality in most of our markets. Volume is strong at this point but will gradually slow as temperatures drop in most of the country." (Construction)
  • "Recent spike in the infection rates of COVID-19 have caused us to pause plans to further reopen our campus. Sourcing for the resumption and expanded use of onsite testing of students and staff along with concerns over possible personal protective equipment [PPE] shortages occupy most staff meetings." (Educational Services)
  • "Uncertainty related to the U.S. election is resulting in additional cybersecurity needs." (Finance & Insurance)
  • "Continue to experience difficulty in procuring PPE due to rising COVID-19 numbers." (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • "Tough economic conditions. Lost revenues from the COVID-19 crisis are coming back, but not completely." (Information)
  • "Business activity is inconsistent. Businesses that reopened are closing for a second time, leading to interruptions in the supply chain." (Management of Companies & Support Services)
  • "COVID-19 has brought some changes to operations, but for the most part, things are progressing as usual." (Mining)
  • "Availability on PPE and other supplies is getting worse again; [the situation] is especially dire with nitrile gloves." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • "Remote working has continued to impact our ability to obtain standard equipment such as iPads, printers and PCs for our stores and employees, who require these items to operate our approximately 800 retail locations. Most items are on a 30 to 60 day back order from our suppliers." (Retail Trade)

ISM® SERVICES SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE

COMPARISON OF ISM® SERVICES AND ISM® MANUFACTURING SURVEYS

November 2020

Index

Services PMI

Manufacturing PMI®

Series
Index

Nov

Series
Index

Oct

Percent
Point
Change

Direction

Rate of
Change

Trend**

(Months)

Series
Index

Nov

Series
Index

Oct

Percent
Point
Change

Services PMI

55.9

56.6

-0.7

Growing

Slower

6

57.5

59.3

-1.8

Business Activity/Production

58.0

61.2

-3.2

Growing

Slower

6

60.8

63.0

-2.2

New Orders

57.2

58.8

-1.6

Growing

Slower

6

65.1

67.9

-2.8

Employment

51.5

50.1

+1.4

Growing

Faster

3

48.4

53.2

-4.8

Supplier Deliveries

57.0

56.2

+0.8

Slowing

Faster

18

61.7

60.5

+1.2

Inventories

49.3

53.1

-3.8

Contracting

From Growing

1

51.2

51.9

-0.7

Prices

66.1

63.9

+2.2

Increasing

Faster

8

65.4

65.5

-0.1

Backlog of Orders

50.7

54.4

-3.7

Growing

Slower

6

56.9

55.7

+1.2

New Export Orders

50.4

53.7

-3.3

Growing

Slower

4

57.8

55.7

+2.1

Imports

55.0

52.5

+2.5

Growing

Faster

2

55.1

58.1

-3.0

Inventory Sentiment

49.9

51.1

-1.2

Too Low

From Too High

1

N/A

N/A

N/A

Customers' Inventories

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

36.3

36.7

-0.4

Overall Economy

Growing

Slower

6

 

Services Sector

Growing

Slower

6

 

Services 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 Inventories indexes.
**Number of months moving in current direction.

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

Commodities Up in Price
Cheese; Construction Contractors (2); Corn (3); Disinfectant Supplies (3); Electrical Components; Exam Gloves (2); Lumber Products (7); Medical Supplies (10); Nitrile Gloves (3); Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)* (10); PPE — Gloves (2); PPE — Gowns (2); PPE — Masks (4); Pharmaceuticals; Plastic Products (2); PVC Products (3); Soybean Products; and Steel (3).

Commodities Down in Price
Beef; Diesel (2); and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)* (2).

Commodities in Short Supply
Construction Contractors (2); Construction Subcontractors (2); Disinfectant Supplies; Disinfectant Wipes (7); Exam Gloves (2); Isolation Gowns (2); Labor — Temporary; Medical Supplies (3); N95 Masks (9); Nitrile Gloves (6); Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (10); PPE — Gloves (8); PPE — Gowns (8); PPE — Masks (9); PVC Products (2); Sanitary Supplies (8); Sterile Surgical Gowns; Swabs; Transformers; Vinyl Gloves (2); and Wipes (6).

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

NOVEMBER 2020 SERVICES INDEX SUMMARIES

Services PMI

In November, the Services PMI (formerly the Non-Manufacturing NMI®) registered 55.9 percent, 0.7 percentage point lower than October's figure of 56.6 percent. This reading indicates the services sector grew for the sixth consecutive month after two months of contraction and 122 months of growth before that. A reading above 50 percent indicates the services sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the services sector is generally contracting.

A Services PMI above 48.5 percent, over time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the November Services PMI™ indicates expansion for a sixth straight month following two months of contraction and a preceding period of 128 months of growth. Nieves says, "The past relationship between the Services PMI and the overall economy indicates that the Services PMI for November (55.9 percent) corresponds to a 2.5-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis."

SERVICES PMI™ HISTORY

Month

Services PMI

Month

Services PMI

Nov 2020

55.9

May 2020

45.4

Oct 2020

56.6

Apr 2020

41.8

Sep 2020

57.8

Mar 2020

52.5

Aug 2020

56.9

Feb 2020

57.3

Jul 2020

58.1

Jan 2020

55.5

Jun 2020

57.1

Dec 2019

54.9

Average for 12 months – 54.2

High – 58.1

Low – 41.8

Business Activity
ISM®'s Business Activity Index registered 58 percent in November, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points from the October reading of 61.2 percent. This represents growth for the sixth consecutive month. Comments from respondents include: "Holiday retail activity" and "COVID-19, the election and end of year."

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

Business Activity

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

27.5

57.0

15.4

58.0

Oct 2020

39.4

45.5

15.1

61.2

Sep 2020

36.5

55.6

7.8

63.0

Aug 2020

36.9

47.7

15.3

62.4

New Orders
ISM®'s New Orders Index registered 57.2 percent, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points from the October reading of 58.8 percent. New orders grew for the sixth consecutive month after two months of contraction and a preceding period of 128 consecutive months of expansion. Comments from respondents include: "Sales for last month exceeded all-time high for the season" and "Year-end demand is high as we approach the end of our fiscal year."

The 13 industries reporting growth of new orders in November — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Health Care & Social Assistance; Finance & Insurance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Construction; Retail Trade; Utilities; Accommodation & Food Services; Educational Services; Wholesale Trade; and Public Administration. The three industries reporting a decrease in November are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Other Services; and Information.

New Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

29.6

55.2

15.1

57.2

Oct 2020

32.3

49.8

18.0

58.8

Sep 2020

37.2

50.9

12.0

61.5

Aug 2020

30.6

52.4

17.0

56.8

Employment
Employment activity in the services sector grew in November for the third consecutive month after a six-month period of contraction, which was preceded by 72 consecutive months of growth. ISM®'s Services Employment Index registered 51.5 percent, up 1.4 percentage points from the October reading of 50.1 percent. Comments from respondents include: "Unable to fill vacant positions with qualified applicants" and "Having to overstaff due to high turnover and people being quarantined."

The seven industries reporting an increase in employment in November — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Accommodation & Food Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Management of Companies & Support Services. The six industries that reported a reduction in employment in November — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Educational Services; Other Services; Information; Mining; and Public Administration.

Employment

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

16.0

69.6

14.5

51.5

Oct 2020

19.5

62.4

18.1

50.1

Sep 2020

17.1

68.0

14.9

51.8

Aug 2020

20.6

51.4

27.9

47.9

Supplier Deliveries
The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 57 percent, which is 0.8 percentage point higher than the 56.2 percent reported in October. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: "Still seeing COVID-19 delays" and "Slowdown of deliveries and increasing spot back orders for certain medical supplies."

The 14 industries reporting slower deliveries in November — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Transportation & Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Construction; Management of Companies & Support Services; Retail Trade; Information; Other Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Utilities; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Public Administration; and Educational Services. No industry reported faster deliveries in November.

Supplier
Deliveries

%Slower

%Same

%Faster

Index

Nov 2020

16.9

80.3

2.8

57.0

Oct 2020

15.4

81.4

3.1

56.2

Sep 2020

18.1

73.7

8.2

54.9

Aug 2020

24.0

72.9

3.0

60.5

Inventories
The Inventories Index contracted in November after one month of growth. The reading of 49.3 percent was a 3.8-percentage point decrease from the 53.1 percent reported in October. Of the total respondents in November, 36 percent indicated they do not have inventories or do not measure them. Comments from respondents include: "Prepping for future COVID-19 surges" and "Restaurant sales remain flat compared to last month, but much lower year over year, creating a backup of some ingredients — mostly frozen due to much less demand."

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

Inventories

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

19.6

59.4

21.0

49.3

Oct 2020

22.5

61.2

16.3

53.1

Sep 2020

20.6

56.5

22.9

48.8

Aug 2020

20.4

50.8

28.7

45.8

Prices
Prices paid by service organizations for materials and services increased in November, with the index registering 66.1 percent. This is 2.2 percentage points higher than the 63.9 percent reported in October.

The 15 services industries that reported an increase in prices paid during the month of November — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Finance & Insurance; Utilities; Accommodation & Food Services; Mining; Construction; Public Administration; Information; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Educational Services. The only industry that reported a decrease in prices paid for November is Retail Trade.

Prices

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

32.0

62.2

5.8

66.1

Oct 2020

30.7

63.4

5.9

63.9

Sep 2020

24.1

69.8

6.0

59.0

Aug 2020

31.5

62.8

5.8

64.2

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

Backlog of Orders
The ISM® Services Backlog of Orders Index grew in November for the sixth consecutive month. The index registered 50.7 percent; 3.7 percentage points lower than the 54.4 percent reported in October. Of the total respondents in November, 35 percent indicated they do not measure backlog of orders.

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

Backlog of
Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

19.0

63.3

17.6

50.7

Oct 2020

21.3

66.2

12.5

54.4

Sep 2020

14.6

70.9

14.5

50.1

Aug 2020

24.7

63.9

11.4

56.6

New Export Orders
Orders and requests for services and other non-manufacturing activities to be provided outside of the U.S. by domestically based companies grew in November for the fourth consecutive month. The New Export Orders Index registered 50.4 percent in November, which is 3.3 percentage points lower than the 53.7 percent reported in October. Of the total respondents in November, 71 percent indicated they either do not perform, or do not separately measure, orders for work outside of the U.S.

The six industries reporting an increase in new export orders in November — listed in order — are: Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Finance & Insurance; Wholesale Trade; and Health Care & Social Assistance. The five industries that reported a decrease in exports in November are: Other Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Educational Services; and Construction. Seven industries reported no change in November.

New Export
Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

15.0

70.8

14.2

50.4

Oct 2020

19.9

67.6

12.5

53.7

Sep 2020

18.1

69.0

12.9

52.6

Aug 2020

23.1

65.3

11.6

55.8

Imports
The Services Imports Index grew, as it registered 55 percent in November, 2.5 percentage points higher than October's figure of 52.5 percent. Sixty-three percent of respondents reported that they do not use, or do not track the use of, imported materials.

The nine industries reporting an increase in imports for the month of November — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Retail Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Wholesale Trade; Utilities; Transportation & Warehousing; Construction; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The four industries reporting a decrease in imports in November are: Other Services; Mining; Accommodation & Food Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance.

Imports

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2020

17.3

75.3

7.4

55.0

Oct 2020

10.1

84.8

5.1

52.5

Sep 2020

8.7

75.8

15.4

46.6

Aug 2020

10.1

81.4

8.5

50.8

Inventory Sentiment
The ISM® Services Inventory Sentiment Index in November registered 49.9 percent, which is 1.2 percentage points lower than the 51.1 percent reading in October. This is only the second month — the first was March 2020 — in which respondents indicated they believe their inventories are too low since the inception of the Services PMI (formerly the NMI®) in 1997.

The 10 industries reporting sentiment that their inventories were too high in November — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Mining; Other Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Information; Utilities; Educational Services; Construction; Public Administration; and Health Care & Social Assistance. The five industries reporting a feeling that their inventories were too low in November are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; Retail Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Wholesale Trade.

Inventory
Sentiment

%Too

High

%About
Right

%Too

Low

Index

Nov 2020

12.3

75.3

12.4

49.9

Oct 2020

14.0

74.2

11.8

51.1

Sep 2020

18.3

74.3

7.4

55.4

Aug 2020

15.2

74.7

10.2

52.5

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 November 2020.

The data presented herein is obtained from a survey of supply executives in the services sector 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 Services ISM® Report On Business® (formerly the Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®) is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. Membership of the Services Business Survey Committee (formerly Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee) is diversified by NAICS, based on each industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). The Services 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 Services PMI 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 services 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.

A Services PMI 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 Services ISM® Report On Business® survey is sent out to Services Business Survey Committee respondents the first part of each month. Respondents are asked to ONLY report on U.S. operations 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 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 Services 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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About Institute for Supply Management®
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.

The full text version of the Services ISM® Report On Business® is posted on ISM®'s website at www.ismrob.org on the third business day* of every month after 10:00 a.m. ET.

The next Services ISM® Report On Business® featuring December 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, January 7, 2021.

*Unless the New York Stock Exchange is closed.

Contact:

Kristina Cahill

 

Report On Business® Analyst

 

ISM®, ROB/Research Manager

 

Tempe, Arizona

 

+1 480.455.5910

 

Email: kcahill@ismworld.org

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SOURCE Institute for Supply Management

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