Services PMI® at 62.7%; April 2021 Services ISM® Report On Business®

Business Activity Index at 62.7%; New Orders Index at 63.2%; Employment Index at 58.8%; Supplier Deliveries Index at 66.1%

TEMPE, Ariz., May 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic activity in the services sector grew in April for the 11th 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 62.7 percent, which is 1 percentage point lower than last month's all-time high of 63.7 percent. The April reading indicates the 11th straight month of growth for the services sector, which has expanded for all but two of the last 135 months.

"The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 66.1 percent, up 5.1 percentage points from March's reading of 61 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 76.8 percent is 2.8 percentage points higher than the March reading of 74 percent, indicating that prices increased in April, and at a faster rate. This is the index's highest reading since it reached 77.4 percent in July 2008.

"According to the Services PMI®, 17 services industries reported growth. The composite index indicated growth for the 11th consecutive month after a two-month contraction in April and May 2020. There was slowing growth in the services sector in April; however, the rate of expansion is still strong. Respondents' comments indicate that pent-up demand is continuing. Production-capacity constraints, material shortages, weather and challenges in logistics and human resources continue to affect deliveries, which has resulted in a reduction of inventories," says Nieves.

INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE

The 17 services industries reporting growth in April — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Construction; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Public Administration; Transportation & Warehousing; Retail Trade; Other Services; Finance & Insurance; Mining; Health Care & Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Educational Services; Information; and Accommodation & Food Services. The only industry reporting a decrease in April is Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • "Restaurant capacity is increasing quickly as restrictions are removed. Consumers have pent-up demand; sales are increasing, and the labor pool is tight. Supply chain is challenged at every level as businesses across the U.S. ramp up." (Accommodation & Food Services)
  • "Delays in container deliveries are now impacting our business." (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting)
  • "Consistent with the past year, labor continues to be the biggest issue we are facing. Finding and retaining labor — skilled and unskilled — is highly challenging and frustrating. As the challenges continue, we are not accepting all the work that we could if we had the labor." (Construction)
  • "Higher volume of activity in anticipation of a reopening of the campus in the fall of 2021." (Educational Services)
  • "Conditions are good for the market/industry. Continuing to trend under budget for operating expenses. Outlook is positive for the second quarter of 2021." (Finance & Insurance)
  • "Elective surgeries coming back to pre-COVID-19 rates. Patient census continues to drop, as it does this time of year." (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • "Overall, there is pricing pressure for goods and services in the market." (Information)
  • "Supply has been dwarfed by demand [and] ocean-transport logistics imbalances with ships and containers. North America parcel carriers swamped with volume-processing constraints, and highway carriers can't supply drivers, regardless of choked original equipment manufacturer [OEM] truck orders. Rail intermodal is only competitive among two dozen or so origins, to about as many destinations." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • "Business is generally upbeat. There is pent-up demand and resources, especially people. The pandemic, while not over, is subsiding in most places with the vaccines. Many people who were previously unable to think about relocating for jobs are now doing so. Other areas of the economy are opening up. Many medical treatments that were not critical and were put off are now being administered." (Public Administration)
  • "Business levels are quite strong as we head into the spring construction season." (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing)
  • "Business optimism is high. Orders are picking up, and there is a strong demand for capital investments." (Utilities)
  • "Business is very robust, but logistics and supply cannot keep up." (Wholesale Trade)

 

ISM® SERVICES SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE

COMPARISON OF ISM® SERVICES AND ISM® MANUFACTURING SURVEYS

April 2021

Index

 Services PMI®

Manufacturing PMI®

Series
Index

Apr

Series
Index

Mar

Percent
Point
Change

 

 

Direction

 

Rate of
Change

 

Trend**

(Months)

Series
Index

Apr

Series
Index

Mar

Percent
Point
Change

Services PMI®

62.7

63.7

-1.0

Growing

Slower

11

60.7

64.7

-4.0

Business Activity/

Production

62.7

69.4

-6.7

Growing

Slower

11

62.5

68.1

-5.6

New Orders

63.2

67.2

-4.0

Growing

Slower

11

64.3

68.0

-3.7

Employment

58.8

57.2

+1.6

Growing

Faster

4

55.1

59.6

-4.5

Supplier Deliveries

66.1

61.0

+5.1

Slowing

Faster

23

75.0

76.6

-1.6

Inventories

49.1

54.0

-4.9

Contracting

From Growing

1

46.5

50.8

-4.3

Prices

76.8

74.0

+2.8

Increasing

Faster

47

89.6

85.6

+4.0

Backlog of Orders

55.7

50.2

+5.5

Growing

Faster

4

68.2

67.5

+0.7

New Export Orders

58.6

55.5

+3.1

Growing

Faster

3

54.9

54.5

+0.4

Imports

55.7

50.7

+5.0

Growing

Faster

7

52.2

56.7

-4.5

Inventory Sentiment

46.8

52.7

-5.9

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

28.4

29.9

-1.5

Overall Economy

Growing

Slower

11


Services Sector

Growing

Slower

11


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

Aluminum; Aluminum Products; Cheese; Chemicals (2); Computer Hardware; Construction Materials (2); Copper Products (3); Copper Wire; Corrugated Boxes; Diesel (5); Electrical Components (3); Electronic Components; Fuel* (4); Gasoline (5); Gloves; Labor (5); Labor — Construction (2); Labor — Temporary (4); Lumber (4); Nitrile Gloves; Oriented Strand Board (OSB) (5); Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)* (15); Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC); Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Products (8); Resin Products (4); Shingles; Shortening; Steel (8); Steel Products (4); Vinyl Windows; Water Works Supplies and Fittings; and Wood Products (3).

Commodities Down in Price

Fuel*; Natural Gas; and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)* (3).

Commodities in Short Supply

Appliances; Circuit Breakers; Construction Contractors (7); Electrical Components; Electronic Components; Fiber-Optic Cable; Gloves (5); Labor — Construction (4); Labor — Temporary (4); Lumber; Needles & Syringes (5); Nitrile Gloves (11); Pipette (2); Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Products (3); Semiconductors (2); Steel Products (5); and Transformers.

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

*Indicates both up and down in price.

APRIL 2021 SERVICES INDEX SUMMARIES

Services PMI®

In April, the Services PMI® registered 62.7 percent, a 1-percentage point decrease compared to the March figure of 63.7 percent. This reading indicates the services sector grew for the 11th 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 49.2 percent, over time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the April Services PMI® indicates expansion for a 11th straight month following two months of contraction and a preceding period of 127 months of growth. Nieves says, "The past relationship between the Services PMI® and the overall economy indicates that the Services PMI® for April (62.7 percent) corresponds to a 4.7-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis."

SERVICES PMI® HISTORY

Month

Services PMI®

Month

Services PMI®

Apr 2021

62.7

Oct 2020

56.2

Mar 2021

63.7

Sep 2020

57.2

Feb 2021

55.3

Aug 2020

57.2

Jan 2021

58.7

Jul 2020

56.6

Dec 2020

57.7

Jun 2020

56.5

Nov 2020

56.8

May 2020

45.4

Average for 12 months – 57.0

High – 63.7

Low – 45.4

Business Activity

ISM®'s Business Activity Index registered 62.7 percent in April, a decrease of 6.7 percentage points from the all-time high March reading of 69.4 percent. This represents growth for the 11th consecutive month. Comments from respondents include: "Business activity resumes after retail activity picks up" and "More businesses opening and projects in play."

The 17 industries reporting an increase in business activity for the month of April — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Public Administration; Utilities; Mining; Retail Trade; Accommodation & Food Services; Educational Services; Construction; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Transportation & Warehousing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Other Services; Information; and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting is the only industry reporting a decrease in April compared to March.

Business Activity

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

46.0

48.3

5.7

62.7

Mar 2021

41.9

50.2

7.9

69.4

Feb 2021

26.2

59.3

14.6

55.5

Jan 2021

29.7

51.4

18.8

59.9

New Orders

ISM®'s New Orders Index registered 63.2 percent, a decrease of 4 percentage points from the all-time high March reading of 67.2 percent. New orders grew for the 11th consecutive month after two months of contraction and a preceding period of 128 months of expansion. Comments from respondents include: "Customers are starting to spend capital on new projects" and "Increased client demand (and) reopening of business locations."

The 17 industries reporting growth of new orders in April — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Wholesale Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Other Services; Utilities; Retail Trade; Public Administration; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; Mining; Construction; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Finance & Insurance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; and Accommodation & Food Services.

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting is the only industry reporting a decrease in April.

New Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

45.1

48.9

6.0

63.2

Mar 2021

39.5

49.9

10.6

67.2

Feb 2021

27.0

54.9

18.1

51.9

Jan 2021

30.5

51.6

17.9

61.8

Employment

Employment activity in the services sector grew in April for the fourth consecutive month after contracting in December. ISM®'s Services Employment Index registered 58.8 percent in April, up 1.6 percentage points from the March reading of 57.2 percent and the highest since September 2018 (59.6 percent). Comments from respondents include: "Competition for labor as more restaurants begin easing their restrictions and returning to normal levels" and "All levels of the business are increasing personnel."

The 11 industries reporting an increase in employment in April — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Wholesale Trade; Construction; Finance & Insurance; Transportation & Warehousing; Utilities; Public Administration; Management of Companies & Support Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance.  The four industries that reported a reduction in employment in April are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Accommodation & Food Services; Information; and Educational Services.

Employment

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

26.7

64.4

8.9

58.8

Mar 2021

22.6

66.3

11.1

57.2

Feb 2021

16.4

69.2

14.3

52.7

Jan 2021

16.2

73.0

10.8

55.2

Supplier Deliveries

The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 66.1 percent, which is 5.1 percentage points higher than the 61 percent reported in March. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: "Port congestion and over-the-road shipping delays" and "Suppliers are extending lead times due to capacity shortfalls and material shortages."

The 17 industries reporting slower deliveries in April — listed in order — are: Management of Companies & Support Services; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Retail Trade; Other Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Utilities; Information; Finance & Insurance; Mining; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Public Administration; and Educational Services. No industry reported faster deliveries in April.

Supplier Deliveries

%Slower

%Same

%Faster

Index

Apr 2021

36.4

59.6

4.1

66.1

Mar 2021

29.3

63.5

7.2

61.0

Feb 2021

25.7

70.2

4.0

60.8

Jan 2021

18.4

78.8

2.8

57.8

Inventories

The Inventories Index contracted in April for the second time since January. The reading of 49.1 percent was a 4.9-percentage point decrease from the 54 percent reported in March. Of the total respondents in April, 34 percent indicated they do not have inventories or do not measure them. Comments from respondents include: "Lower inventories primarily due to supply chain delays" and "Having difficulty replenishing stock, and sales orders are picking up."

The eight industries reporting an increase in inventories in April — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Mining; Educational Services; Utilities; Management of Companies & Support Services; Wholesale Trade; Finance & Insurance; and Public Administration. The five industries reporting a decrease in inventories in April are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Construction; Health Care & Social Assistance; Accommodation & Food Services; and Information.

Inventories

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

20.1

58.1

21.8

49.1

Mar 2021

32.6

42.8

24.5

54.0

Feb 2021

31.0

55.9

13.1

58.9

Jan 2021

17.0

64.6

18.5

49.2

Prices

Prices paid by service organizations for materials and services increased in April, with the index registering 76.8 percent. This is 2.8 percentage points higher than the 74 percent reported in March and the highest reading since July 2008 (77.4 percent).

All 18 services industries reported an increase in prices paid during the month of April, listed in order: Transportation & Warehousing; Construction; Management of Companies & Support Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Utilities; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Mining; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; Other Services; Finance & Insurance; Educational Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance.

Prices

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

58.4

40.4

1.2

76.8

Mar 2021

52.0

47.0

1.0

74.0

Feb 2021

43.0

54.2

2.7

71.8

Jan 2021

32.0

63.3

4.8

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 April for the 10th time in the last 11 months. The index registered 55.7 percent; 5.5 percentage points higher than the 50.2 percent reported in March. Of the total respondents in April, 34 percent indicated they do not measure backlog of orders.

The 11 industries reporting an increase in order backlogs in April — listed in order — are: Management of Companies & Support Services; Wholesale Trade; Utilities; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Educational Services; Finance & Insurance; Transportation & Warehousing; Other Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Construction. The four industries that reported a decrease in backlogs in April are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Retail Trade; Public Administration; and Mining.

Backlog of Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

21.9

67.7

10.4

55.7

Mar 2021

16.6

67.3

16.1

50.2

Feb 2021

25.2

60.1

14.7

55.2

Jan 2021

13.9

74.0

12.1

50.9

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 April for the third consecutive month after contracting in January. The New Export Orders Index registered 58.6 percent in April, which is 3.1 percentage points higher than the 55.5 percent reported in March. Of the total respondents in April, 79 percent indicated they either do not perform, or do not separately measure, orders for work outside of the U.S.

The eight industries reporting an increase in new export orders in April — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Construction; Information; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Finance & Insurance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The two industries that reported a decrease in exports in April are: Other Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance. Eight industries reported no change in April.

New Export Orders

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

19.5

78.3

2.2

58.6

Mar 2021

17.9

75.0

7.0

55.5

Feb 2021

21.9

71.4

6.8

57.6

Jan 2021

13.2

67.7

19.2

47.0

Imports

The Imports Index grew at a slightly faster rate in April, as it registered 55.7 percent, 5 percentage points higher than March's figure of 50.7 percent. Seventy-seven percent of respondents reported that they do not use, or do not track the use of, imported materials.

The seven industries reporting an increase in imports for the month of April — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Mining; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Information. The four industries reporting a decrease in imports in April are: Other Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Finance & Insurance; and Utilities. Seven industries reported no change.

Imports

%Higher

%Same

%Lower

Index

Apr 2021

16.9

77.4

5.6

55.7

Mar 2021

10.1

81.1

8.7

50.7

Feb 2021

16.8

67.4

15.8

50.5

Jan 2021

14.9

77.0

8.0

53.5

Inventory Sentiment

The ISM® Services Inventory Sentiment Index in April registered 46.8 percent, which is 5.9 percentage points lower than the 52.7 percent reading in March. This indicates that respondents feel that inventories are too low when correlated to their level of business.

The six industries reporting sentiment that their inventories were too high in April — listed in order — are: Mining; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Health Care & Social Assistance; Information; Educational Services; and Utilities. The seven industries reporting a feeling that their inventories were too low in April — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Wholesale Trade; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Construction; Transportation & Warehousing; and Finance & Insurance.

Inventory
Sentiment

%Too

High

%About
Right

%Too

Low

Index

Apr 2021

9.7

74.2

16.1

46.8

Mar 2021

16.8

71.7

11.5

52.7

Feb 2021

19.4

69.7

10.9

54.3

Jan 2021

13.0

73.4

13.6

49.7

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 April 2021.

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 49.2 percent, over time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 49.2 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 49.2 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 May 2021 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, June 3, 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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