Non-Manufacturing Index Fell Two Points, Still Positive in April

Tempe, AZ, May 3, 2018-April's Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) registered 56.8%, which is 2 percentage points lower than the March reading of 58.8%, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slower rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 59.1%, 1.5 percentage points lower than the March reading of 60.6%, reflecting growth for the 105th consecutive month, at a slower rate in April.

The New Orders Index registered 60%, 0.5 percentage point higher than the reading of 59.5% in March.

The Employment Index decreased 3 percentage points in April to 53.6% from the March reading of 56.6%.

The Prices Index increased by 0.3 percentage point from the March reading of 61.5% to 61.8%, indicating that prices increased in April for the 26th consecutive month.

According to the NMI, all 18 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. There was a slowing in the rate of growth that was mostly attributed to the decline in the employment and supplier deliveries indexes. The respondents have expressed concern regarding the uncertainty about tariffs and the effect on the cost of goods. Overall, the respondents remain positive about business conditions and the economy.

All 18 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April, listed in order: mining; utilities; retail trade; educational services; wholesale trade; construction; transportation & warehousing; public administration; agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting; real estate, rental & leasing; finance & insurance; other services; arts, entertainment & recreation; management of companies & support services; professional, scientific & technical services; accommodation & food services; information; and health care & social assistance.