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Services PMI® at 52.7%; November 2023 Services ISM® Report On Business®

Business Activity Index at 55.1%; New Orders Index at 55.5%; Employment Index at 50.7%; Supplier Deliveries Index at 49.6%

TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic activity in the services sector expanded in November for the 11th consecutive month as the Services PMI® registered 52.7 percent, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Services ISM® Report On Business®. The sector has grown in 41 of the last 42 months, with the lone contraction in December 2022.

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: "In November, the Services PMI® registered 52.7 percent, 0.9 percentage point higher than October's reading of 51.8 percent. The composite index indicated growth in November for the 11th consecutive month after a reading of 49.2 percent in December 2022, which was the first contraction since May 2020 (45.4 percent). The Business Activity Index registered 55.1 percent; a 1-percentage point increase compared to the reading of 54.1 percent in October. The New Orders Index expanded in November for the 11th consecutive month after contracting in December for the first time since May 2020; the figure of 55.5 percent equals the October reading.

"The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 49.6 percent, 2.1 percentage points higher than the 47.5 percent recorded in October. The index remained in contraction territory for the second consecutive month, indicating that supplier delivery performance was 'faster' in contrast to the 'slowing' status in September. In the last 10 months, the average reading of 48.1 percent (with a low of 45.8 in March) reflects the fastest supplier delivery performance since June 2009, when the index registered 46 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 registered 58.3 percent in November, a 0.3-percentage point decrease from the October reading of 58.6 percent. The Inventories Index returned to growth in November, registering 55.4 percent, an increase of 5.9 percentage points from October's figure of 49.5 percent. The Inventory Sentiment Index (62.2 percent, up 7.8 percentage points from October's reading of 54.4 percent) expanded for the seventh consecutive month. The Backlog of Orders Index contracted in November and registered 49.1 percent, a 1.8-percentage point decrease compared to the October reading of 50.9 percent.

"Fifteen industries reported growth in November. The Services PMI®, by being above 50 percent for the 11th month after a single month of contraction and a prior 30-month period of expansion, continues to indicate sustained growth for the sector, and at a slightly faster rate in November."

Nieves continues, "The services sector had a slight uptick in growth in November, attributed to the increase in business activity and slight employment growth. Respondents' comments vary by both company and industry. There is continuing concern about inflation, interest rates and geopolitical events. Rising labor costs and labor constraints remain employment-related challenges."

INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE 

The 15 services industries reporting growth in November — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Health Care & Social Assistance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Transportation & Warehousing; Retail Trade; Utilities; Accommodation & Food Services; Other Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; Construction; Wholesale Trade; and Educational Services. The three industries reporting a decrease in the month of November are: Information; Mining; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • "Restaurant sales and traffic trends are consistent with the previous month and at our annual seasonal lows — should pick up again in December. We continue to trend positive to pre-pandemic and last year." [Accommodation & Food Services]
  • "Opportunities across the construction industry remains strong. The labor market for skilled trades workers is tight." [Construction]
  • "Supplies and merchandise are holding steady." [Educational Services]
  • "Business conditions remain steady to the end of 2023. Annual cost escalations are a bit higher than planned, more than 5 percent versus 3 percent due to overall economic conditions and concerns." (Finance & Insurance)
  • "Signs of recovery are on the horizon — (profit) margins remain tight, but revenue is improving and labor appears to be stabilizing. Supply chains are operating well, but a few major manufacturers continue to show signs of constraints that have persisted for some time. Capital investment remains constrained; however, optimism has returned for a turnaround in calendar year 2024." [Health Care & Social Assistance]
  • "There are fewer new projects in comparison to last month and November 2022. Customers are not requesting quotes for new services." [Information]
  • "Customers are conservative in spending, so competition to maintain market share is tight." [Management of Companies & Support Services]
  • "Fourth-quarter revenues lower than projected. Seeing negative revenues trend into the first quarter of the new year. We remain positive yet concerned about 2024." [Professional, Scientific & Technical Services]
  • "Prices for most items increasing, but only slightly. Increase in pricing for services much more noticeable and impactful on the organization." [Public Administration]
  • "Candidate expectations during the hiring process have made staffing up more difficult." [Retail Trade]
  • "Solid activity heading into the final stretch of the fourth quarter." [Transportation & Warehousing]
  • "Labor, equipment and material price escalation requests are increasing, both through existing contracts as well as re-pricing of markets via requests for proposal." [Utilities]
  • "A comparably flat month of business activity — no major swings one way or the other. Inventories in our extended supply chain look healthy, and fill rates are improving." [Wholesale Trade]

ISM® SERVICES SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE

COMPARISON OF ISM® SERVICES AND ISM® MANUFACTURING SURVEYS

NOVEMBER 2023

Index

 Services PMI®

Manufacturing PMI®

Series

Ind
ex

Nov

Series

Ind
ex

Oct

Percent

Point

Change

 

 

Direction

 

Rate of

Change

 

Trend*

(Months)

Series

Index

Nov

Series

Index

Oct

Percent

Point

Change

Services PMI®

52.7

51.8

+0.9

Growing

Faster

11

46.7

46.7

0.0

Business Activity/

Production

55.1

54.1

+1.0

Growing

Faster

42

48.5

50.4

-1.9

New Orders

55.5

55.5

0.0

Growing

Same

11

48.3

45.5

+2.8

Employment

50.7

50.2

+0.5

Growing

Faster

6

45.8

46.8

-1.0

Supplier Deliveries

49.6

47.5

+2.1

Faster

Slower

2

46.2

47.7

-1.5

Inventories

55.4

49.5

+5.9

Growing

From Contracting

1

44.8

43.3

+1.5

Prices

58.3

58.6

-0.3

Increasing

Slower

78

49.9

45.1

+4.8

Backlog of Orders

49.1

50.9

-1.8

Contracting

From Growing

1

39.3

42.2

-2.9

New Export Orders

53.6

48.8

+4.8

Growing

From Contracting

1

46.0

49.4

-3.4

Imports

53.7

60.0

-6.3

Growing

Slower

6

46.2

47.9

-1.7

Inventory Sentiment

62.2

54.4

+7.8

Too High

Faster

7

N/A

N/A

N/A

Customers' Inventories

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

50.8

48.6

+2.2

OVERALL ECONOMY

Growing

Faster

11



Services Sector

Growing

Faster

11



Services ISM® Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for the Business Activity, New Orders, Employment and Prices 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

Electrical Components; Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Equipment; Labor (36); Labor — Contract (3); Labor — Construction; Labor Cost — Technical Workers; Oriented Strand Board (OSB) Panels; MRO; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Plumbing Supplies; and Professional Services.

Commodities Down in Price

Caustic Soda (2); Freight; Fuel (2); Gasoline; Gas Related Products; Lumber (2); Steel Products; and Soybean Oil.

Commodities in Short Supply

Building Materials; Electrical Components (8); Labor (13); Labor — Construction (3); Transformers (15); and Vehicles (3).

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.

NOVEMBER 2023 SERVICES INDEX SUMMARIES

Services PMI®

In November, the Services PMI® registered 52.7 percent, a 0.9-percentage point increase compared to the October reading of 51.8 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates the services sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates it is generally contracting.

A Services PMI® above 49.9 percent, over time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the November Services PMI® indicates the overall economy is growing for the 11th consecutive month after one month of contraction in December 2022. Nieves says, "The past relationship between the Services PMI® and the overall economy indicates that the Services PMI® for November (52.7 percent) corresponds to a 1-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis."

SERVICES PMI® HISTORY

Month

Services PMI®

Month

Services PMI®

Nov 2023

52.7

May 2023

50.3

Oct 2023

51.8

Apr 2023

51.9

Sep 2023

53.6

Mar 2023

51.2

Aug 2023

54.5

Feb 2023

55.1

Jul 2023

52.7

Jan 2023

55.2

Jun 2023

53.9

Dec 2022

49.2

Average for 12 months – 52.7

High – 55.2

Low – 49.2

Business Activity

ISM®'s Business Activity Index registered 55.1 percent in November, an increase of 1 percentage point from the reading of 54.1 percent in October, indicating growth for the 42nd consecutive month. The Business Activity Index has been in expansionary territory ever since it recovered from its pandemic lows. Comments from respondents include: "End of the year elective procedures" and "Holiday retail sales now ramping up."

The 11 industries reporting an increase in business activity for the month of November — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Finance & Insurance; Transportation & Warehousing; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Utilities; Retail Trade; Public Administration; and Educational Services. The four industries reporting a decrease in business activity for the month of November are: Mining; Information; Construction; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

Business Activity

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2023

24.6

62.8

12.6

55.1

Oct 2023

22.3

61.5

16.2

54.1

Sep 2023

34.2

55.1

10.7

58.8

Aug 2023

31.0

52.5

16.5

57.3

New Orders

ISM®'s New Orders Index registered 55.5 percent, the same reading registered in October. The index indicated expansion for the 11th consecutive month after contracting in December 2022, ending a string of 30 consecutive months of growth. Comments from respondents include: "Spending remaining 2023 funding, preparing orders for 2024" and "Due to end of the year, companies are gearing up for the first quarter of 2024." Also: "Equipment and components orders are being placed to ensure on-time delivery."

The 11 industries reporting an increase in new orders for the month of November — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Health Care & Social Assistance; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; Management of Companies & Support Services; Construction; Educational Services; and Utilities. The two industries reporting a decrease in new orders for the month of November are: Information; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

New Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2023

25.4

60.7

13.9

55.5

Oct 2023

22.9

59.9

17.2

55.5

Sep 2023

27.8

55.9

16.3

51.8

Aug 2023

29.4

53.6

17.0

57.5

Employment

Employment activity in the services sector grew in November for the sixth consecutive month after contracting in May, with three consecutive months of growth before that. The Employment Index registered 50.7 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from the October figure of 50.2 percent. Comments from respondents include: "We have lost employees due to normal attrition and are having issues backfilling these positions" and "The labor market remains very competitive." Also: "Trying to get to full staff levels."

The 10 industries reporting an increase in employment in November — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Construction; Accommodation & Food Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Other Services; Utilities; Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The five industries reporting a decrease in employment in November are: Finance & Insurance; Mining; Information; Public Administration; and Educational Services.

Employment

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2023

14.3

71.9

13.8

50.7

Oct 2023

15.8

67.0

17.2

50.2

Sep 2023

21.9

64.0

14.1

53.4

Aug 2023

18.1

71.0

10.9

54.7

Supplier Deliveries

The Supplier Deliveries Index indicated faster performance for the second consecutive month in November, registering 49.6 percent, up 2.1 percentage points from the 47.5 percent recorded in October. The index has been in "faster" territory in 10 of the last 12 months. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: "Manufacturers have fewer backlog orders, so they are able to process orders faster" and "Easing of supply chain constraints."

The six industries reporting slower deliveries in November — listed in order — are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Transportation & Warehousing; Educational Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance. The six industries reporting faster supplier deliveries for the month of November — listed in order — are: Information; Construction; Management of Companies & Support Services; Wholesale Trade; Finance & Insurance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Six industries reported no change in deliveries in November.

Supplier

Deliveries

%Slower

%Same

%Faster

Index

Nov 2023

9.6

79.9

10.5

49.6

Oct 2023

4.2

86.6

9.2

47.5

Sep 2023

9.8

81.1

9.1

50.4

Aug 2023

3.6

89.7

6.7

48.5

Inventories

The Inventories Index grew in November after contracting the previous month. The reading of 55.4 percent was a 5.9-percentage point increase compared to the 49.5 percent reported in October. Of the total respondents in November, 46 percent indicated they do not have inventories or do not measure them. Comments from respondents include: "Beginning to build for holiday demand" and "We have more standing inventory, as capacity has increased but sales have not."

The eight industries reporting an increase in inventories in November — listed in order — are: Other Services; Public Administration; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Retail Trade; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Health Care & Social Assistance; Utilities; and Educational Services. The six industries reporting a decrease in inventories in November — listed in order — are: Mining; Information; Finance & Insurance; Management of Companies & Support Services; Transportation & Warehousing; and Wholesale Trade.

Inventories

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2023

24.7

61.4

13.9

55.4

Oct 2023

15.0

68.9

16.1

49.5

Sep 2023

22.0

64.4

13.6

54.2

Aug 2023

28.0

59.3

12.7

57.7

Prices

Prices paid by services organizations for materials and services increased in November for the 78th consecutive month. The Prices Index registered 58.3 percent, 0.3 percentage point lower than the 58.6 percent registered in October. The November reading is the 17th in a row near or below 70 percent (with nine straight months below 60 percent), following 10 straight months of readings near or above 80 percent.

Eleven services industries reported an increase in prices paid during the month of November, in the following order: Public Administration; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Educational Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Health Care & Social Assistance; Information; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Utilities; Finance & Insurance; and Retail Trade. The three industries reporting a decrease in prices for November are: Mining; Accommodation & Food Services; and Transportation & Warehousing.

Prices

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2023

22.3

68.2

9.5

58.3

Oct 2023

24.7

66.6

8.7

58.6

Sep 2023

24.2

66.3

9.5

58.9

Aug 2023

22.7

69.3

8.0

58.9

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 contracted in November after growing in October. The index reading of 49.1 percent is 1.8 percentage points lower than the 50.9 percent reported in October. Of the total respondents in November, 54 percent indicated they do not measure backlog of orders. Respondent comments include: "Due to supply chain improvement, backlogs are under control" and "Suppliers are making good progress clearing up back orders."

The four industries reporting an increase in order backlogs in November are: Finance & Insurance; Transportation & Warehousing; Utilities; and Public Administration. The five industries reporting a decrease in order backlogs in November are: Information; Wholesale Trade; Educational Services; Construction; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Nine industries reported no change in backlogs in November.

Backlog of

Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2023

10.1

77.9

12.0

49.1

Oct 2023

11.1

79.6

9.3

50.9

Sep 2023

8.5

80.2

11.3

48.6

Aug 2023

8.9

65.8

25.3

41.8

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 increased in November after a significant decline in October preceded by six consecutive months of expansion. The New Export Orders Index registered 53.6 percent, a 4.8-percentage point increase from the 48.8 percent reported in October. Of the total respondents in November, 74 percent indicated they 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: Educational Services; Mining; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Information; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The two industries reporting a decrease in new export orders in November are: Utilities; and Transportation & Warehousing. Ten industries reported no change in new export orders in November.

New Export

Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Nov 2023

10.9

85.4

3.7

53.6

By: PR Newswire Association LLC. - 05 Dec 2023
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