Non-Manufacturing Fell to 58.8% in March, Expansion Continues

Tempe, AZ, April 4, 2018-The Non-Manufacturing Index registered 58.8%, which is 0.7 percentage point lower than the February reading of 59.5%, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly slower rate.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 60.6%, 2.2 percentage points lower than the February reading of 62.8%, reflecting growth for the 104th consecutive month, at a slower rate in March.

The New Orders Index registered 59.5%, 5.3 percentage points lower than the reading of 64.8% in February.

The Employment Index increased 1.6 percentage points in March to 56.6% from the February reading of 55%.

The Prices Index increased by 0.5 percentage point from the February reading of 61% to 61.5%, indicating that prices increased in March for the 25th consecutive month.

According to the NMI, 15 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. Despite the slight dip in the NMI composite index, the non-manufacturing sector enjoyed another month of strong growth in March. The cooling off of the New Orders Index possibly prevented an even stronger reading for the NMI® composite index. The majority of respondents remain positive about business conditions.

The 15 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in March-listed in order-are mining; transportation & warehousing; agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting; retail trade; real estate, rental & leasing; wholesale trade; finance & insurance; management of companies & support services; professional, scientific & technical services; accommodation & food services; public administration; construction; health care & social assistance; other services; and utilities. The two industries reporting contraction in March are educational services and information.